Boston College interviews link IRA to murder of widow
A series of Boston College interviews with former members of the Irish Republican Army has led to the arrest of a former terrorist commander in connection with one of the most notorious murders of the Northern Ireland conflict.
Ivor Bell, 77, appeared in a Belfast courtroom on Saturday on charges of aiding the killers of Jean McConville, a Catholic 37-year-old widow and mother of 10.
McConville's kidnapping, killing and secret burial in 1972 is a politically explosive crime because of its disputed links to Gerry Adams, now a prominent Catholic politician in the Republic of Ireland.
At the time, Bell was Adams' superior officer in the Belfast IRA.
For decades, the IRA denied involvement. McConville's children were told that their mother had abandoned them as they were scattered into several foster homes. But the IRA admitted in 1999 that it murdered and buried at secret locations unarmed Catholic civilians accused of being British informers.
The children and grandchildren of the murdered widow were in court to hear a detective allege that Bell was “Mr. Z” on a tape recorded for the Boston College's Belfast Project, candid interviews with former IRA and loyalist paramilitaries. The former terrorists were told the tapes would only be made public after their deaths, but court cases in the United States led to some tapes being handed over to the authorities.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mussolini’s air raid shelter opens
- Gestapo impostor tricked British fascists, secret files show
- As oil prices fall, fear rises in Venezuela
- Attack on Egypt army post in Sinai peninsula kills 30 troops
- Canada balances security, openness
- 2 dead in shooting attack at Canada’s Parliament
- Miss Uganda hopefuls get dirty in agriculture phase of contest
- ISIS claims it grabs U.S. military ware
- Everything is America’s fault, Putin says
- Fiercest fighting in days hits Syrian border town of Kobani
- South Korea: Two Koreas exchange gunfire along border