Officers given more time to question man in McConville investigation

Jean McConville.

Detectives investigating the murder of Jean McConville, a mother of 10 who was abducted, shot dead and secretly buried by the IRA, have been given more time to question a veteran republican arrested in connection with her death.

Ivor Malachy Bell, 77, was detained at his home in west Belfast on Tuesday.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said they had been granted a court extension to enable detectives to continue questioning the suspect until tomorrow night.

The murder of Mrs McConville is one of the most notorious incidents of the North's Troubles.

The 37-year-old was seized at her home at Divis Flats beside the Falls Road in Belfast by an IRA gang in December 1972 and dragged from her children after being accused of passing information to the British Army.

An investigation later carried out by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman rejected the allegations.

Mrs McConville was a Protestant who converted to Catholicism after she married a Catholic man, a former British soldier.

She was kidnapped by up to a dozen IRA men and women and later shot in the back of the head and then buried 50 miles from her home. The IRA did not admit her murder until 1999 when information was passed on to Gardaí.

She became one of the so-called Disappeared, and it was not until August 2003 that her remains were eventually found on Shelling Hill beach, Co Louth.

Nobody has ever been charged with the murder.

KEYWORDS: Jean McConville
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