VETERAN IRA chief Paddy Joe Rice has died.
He was recently arrested and quizzed over the murder of Jean McConville in 1972.
Rice, who was in his 60s, was the former Officer Commanding of the IRA’s Lower Falls ‘D’ Company.
He died this week week after a long illness.
His takes place this Saturday at St Paul’s Cathedral on the Falls Road.
According to republican sources, Rice was best pals with Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes, a former IRA commander for the Belfast Brigade.
Hughes – who earned his nickname from British soldiers because of his dark complexion – told – told writers compiling the Boston College tapes that Gerry Adams personally ordered the murder of Jean McConville.
Adams accused the mother-of-ten of being a British Army informant, a claim her family strongly denies.
Paddy Joe Rice was interned in Long Kesh at the time of Jean McConville’s abduction and killing.
She was taken from her Divis Flats home by a ten-strong IRA gang made up of men, women and children.
Her body was discovered on a Co Louth beach in 2003.
Paddy Joe Rice was arrested last year for questioning about the murder of Jean McConville but was later released without charge.