McConville family to sue Baggott and MOD

Published Tuesday, 27 August 2013
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The family of Belfast woman Jean McConville - who was abducted, murdered and ‘disappeared’ by the Provisional IRA – plans to take civil action against the Chief Constable of the PSNI and the Ministry of Defence over alleged failings in the investigation into her death.

The body of Mrs McConville, a mother-of-10 who vanished in December 1972, was not recovered for more than 30 years.

Her remains were finally found on Shelling Hill beach in Co Louth in 2003, but no one has ever been convicted over her death.

On Tuesday, the anniversary of Mrs McConville's body being found, lawyers for the family confirmed that they had been instructed to pursue civil action.

"The McConville family firmly believe that the RUC and subsequently the PSNI have utterly failed to assist the family's quest for the truth," Ciarán Mulholland, from J Mulholland & Co Solicitors, said.

"It is abundantly clear that police negligently failed to hold a prompt and efficient investigation into this matter."

The McConville family continue to mourn and grieve at the loss of their mother because they remain in the dark - their questions remain unanswered.

Ciarán Mulholland, family solicitor

According to the family's legal team, Mrs McConville was abducted by the PIRA on 30 November 1972 from a bingo hall in the lower Falls area of west Belfast.

They say she was interrogated on suspicion of being an informant before being found the next day, "roaming the streets in a state", by a British Army patrol who took her to Queen Street RUC barracks.

The lawyers further detail how Mrs McConville was then abducted from her home by the PIRA.

They claim numerous reports were made to the RUC, but "police still failed to act".

Mrs McConville is believed to have been tortured and murdered by her captors sometime in December 1972.

Mr Mulholland added: "The family now feel that, given the lengthy passage of time and the obstruction they continue to meet seeking the truth into the disappearance and murder of their mother, they have no alternative other than to hold the police and Ministry of Defence to account.

"Our clients' feel that legal action is now essential in their journey for truth, and accordingly, representations have been sent to both the Chief Constable and the Ministry of Defence."

An MOD spokesman said: "The MOD has and will continue to cooperate fully with all judicial processes.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further due to the ongoing civilian police investigation."

A PSNI spokesman said: "As this is a legal matter it would be inappropriate for us to comment."

© UTV News
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19 Comments
s magowan in belfast wrote (231 days ago):
I still feel sorry for what happened to this innocent lady,all my sympathy for her family has now totally evaporated.Mealticket in Britain hit the nail on the head.
Karen in Australia wrote (232 days ago):
No wonder I emigrated!!!I agree why are IRA not being sued...how can everything be the fault of the police??? Speak to The local political leaders for the IRA they should be able to give something from their salaries!
con in Belfast. wrote (232 days ago):
The shameless eejits on this site telling these people to sue the IRA. Well then we should sue the UVF for the recent street ritos ect and go from there with relentless suing??. Get a grip! The reason this family is suing may be due to the fact that the goverment has information on who killed their mother and were she was buried but kept the information secret in order to protect 'agents'. Rememebr about one quarter of the IRA were working for the British government so the
Iain in Belfast wrote (232 days ago):
Yeah nice one eamo, just another slice of paranoia from you....yet again. Of course a killing by the ira is now the work of the British government. Ok genius, explain this to the rest of us then. Unless you can't because its just more sour grapes from yourself which is no big shock. Not the fault of the ira then you sectarian clown?
Police Lover in Bangor wrote (232 days ago):
Perhaps if those in Mrs McConville's own community with any semblance of a backbone had spoken out and identified, rather than protected (through their silence) those who carried out this horrendous crime, then perhaps arrests would have been made 40 years ago! But as with everything else in this country, certain people on both "sides" when they can't or refuse to account for their actions, choose to blame the establishment or the police. I have a lot of sympathy for the McConville family, their mother was undoubtedly a respected woman in the community, but the injustice carried out against them was perpetrated by the IRA, no one else need be held to account.
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