Monday, March 16, 2015

"Where the Body is Buried": Jean McConville's case

My friends Anthony and Carrie McIntyre have been interviewed, among many others, in the current issue (dated today) of The New Yorker. Patrick Radden Keefe delivers, in an article lengthy even by that magazine's standards, them in a feature about the death of Jean McConville. "Where the Bodies Are Buried" examines what is known--or revealed, a key distinction--about the abduction and execution of this widowed mother of ten. In December 1972, living in the formidable stronghold at the start of West Belfast, Divis Flats, she was accused of having succored a wounded British soldier at her doorstep, and of having harbored--twice according to some testimony which is disputed in this piece--a transmitter to aid the enemy, the forces of the Crown. Of course, by then they were engaged in a street struggle against Republican operatives. Some are asked about this mission, the treatment of McConville, and two now deceased, Dolours Price and Brendan "the Dark" Hughes, have had their testimony (or its partial lack, in the former case), scrutinized by scholars and activists and operatives.

Gerry Adams and Billy McKee as PIRA insiders, journalists Suzanne Breen and Ed Moloney, son Michael McConville have their say. Keefe, near the conclusion of what is still an open-ended subject, cites one who knows: "'It’s not over,' Anthony McIntyre told me. 'It’s still a very dangerous society.”'
Caption to photo: "Archie and Susan McConville tending to Jean McConville’s grave, at Holy Trinity Cemetery, outside Belfast." See more context on this case at McIntyre's project The Pensive Quill.

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