Pensioner questioned in relation to Jean McConville murder

A pensioner was questioned tonight about the murder of Jean McConville, a mother of 10 abducted, shot dead and then secretly buried by the IRA more than 40 years ago.

The man, aged 77, was detained at his home in the Andersonstown area of west Belfast at lunchtime.

Police later confirmed he was taken to the custody suite at Antrim to be interviewed by officers belonging to the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s serious crime branch.

Mrs McConville, 37, 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 emphatically rejected the allegations.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has consistently denied having anything to do with her disappearance or that he belonged to the IRA even though disaffected former members claimed he ordered the kidnapping.

Nobody has ever been charged with the murder, one of the most notorious in the history of the Troubles.

Police said they could not comment further on the arrest, but it is believed officers were acting on some sort of new information. The man detained has not been named.

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, but it was not until August 2003 that her remains were eventually found on Shelling Hill beach, Co Louth.

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