Jean McConville’s IRA killers should stand trial at the Hague, her son has said.
Michael McConville was only 11 when his mother Jean was kidnapped from their Belfast home more than 40 years ago. He now claims that her death should be treated as a war crime.
"Those that took my mother away and senior Sinn Fein figures that supported them should be rounded up and made to stand trial at the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, but that will never happen, not in this country," he said in a new book, ‘The Disappeared Of Northern Ireland's Troubles’.
A widowed mother-of-ten, McConville was one of 16 people abducted, killed and buried in secret graves during the troubles. The IRA claimed she had been an informer on republican activities to British security forces, the claims were later rejected by Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland.
Writing in a new book alongside relatives of other victims of the Disappeared, McConville recalled the frantic moments he last saw his mother alive.
"A rap came to the door and a gang of men and women piled into the flat. They were looking for our mother and when they got her they tried to pull her outside. We were all crying and holding on to her so they stopped and tried to calm us down; they said that (his brother) Archie could go with her but when they got Archie and mother outside they told Archie to **** off. We looked from the balcony as they bundled her into a van. There were two cars with men and women in them, in total there was about 18 people who took my mother away. I have no idea why it took so many as she wasn't a big woman."
Her body was discovered almost 30 years later at Shelling Beach, Co Louth in August 2003.
Forensic tests revealed she had been badly beaten and shot in the back of the head.
McConville says the family still have many unanswered questions.
"Apparently this man came across her body by accident; he found a rag and started digging with his kids' bucket and spade and then he came across a human bone and when he dug some more he got her body.
"This is the official version but the family have always disputed this; I think it is too convenient. My mother was missing for over 30 years and her body just happened to be found on a beach by a man playing with his kids," he added.
There were sixteen people who ‘disappeared’ during the troubles in Northern Ireland. The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains was established between the Irish and British Governments in April 1999.