Gerry Adams ordered the murder of Jean McConville, says former IRA Belfast commander Brendan Hughes

Gerry Adams ordered the murder of Jean McConville, says former IRA Belfast commander Brendan Hughes

DETECTIVES have made a fresh appeal to a man who stole a van used in the IRA abduction and murder of Jean McConville.

The widowed mother-of-ten was abducted outside her home in west Belfast’s Divis flats in 1972, before being shot dead by the IRA.

Her remains were finally found at Shelling Hill beach in Co Louth in the Republic in August 2003.

Now Serious Crime Branch detectives are asking a man who phoned the McConville family in the mid to late 1990s, claiming he had been involved in the abduction, to come forward.

A teenager at the time, he said he had been told to steal a van which was used to take Mrs McConville away.

He claimed he drove her to a house in another part of west Belfast and left.

Police have said he moved to England some time after, and said he only found out later Mrs McConville had been murdered.

They are appealing for the man to contact them on 028 9070 0727 or 07585 228283.

Earlier this month, a tape from beyond grave came back to haunt Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams over his role in ‘The Disaappeared’.

Former IRA Belfast commander Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes accuses Gerry Adams on the tape of ordering the murder and secret burial of mother of ten Jean McConville in 1972.

The tape was broadcast earlier this month on BBC1 Northern Ireland presented by award winning investigative reportr Darragh McIntrye.

Hughes, a former hunger striker, said the Sinn Féin president was one of the heads of a unit that kidnapped, killed and buried west Belfast woman Jean McConville.

In the recording, Hughes, who died in 2008, is heard saying: “There was only one man who gave that order for that woman to be executed – and that man is now the head of Sinn Féin.”

Hughes also says that Adams went to the McConville children after their mother was abducted and promised an internal IRA investigation.

“That man is the man who gave the order for that woman to be executed. I did not give the order to execute that woman. He did.”

Adams was challenged on the BBC’s Storyville programme over whether he was a senior Provisionals commander in Belfast at the time McConville was abducted, just before Christmas 1972.

Adams replies: “That’s not true.”

He added that he did not “shirk” his own responsibilities in the conflict and still insists he was never in the IRA.

In response to the tape, the Louth TD, accused his former friend of lying.

“Brendan is telling lies,” Adams told the programme. He adds: “I had no act or part to play in the abduction, killing or burial of Jean McConville or any of the others.”

An expert forensic detective told the joint BBC Northern Ireland-RTE production that the IRA sometimes weighed bodies down with heavy stones to ensure that the corpses would not surface if the bogs they were buried in ever dried up.

Storyville revealed that the first of the “disappeared” to be found back in 1999, north Belfast man Eamon Molloy, had received the last rites from a Catholic priest.

The priest saw Molloy tied naked to a bed and asked his captors if any of them had rosary beads that their prisoner could hold when he was to be shot.

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