UK & World News

  • 22 March 2014, 22:20

Jean McConville Murder: Man Appears In Court

A veteran republican charged in connection with one of the most notorious murders of the Northern Ireland Troubles has been remanded in custody.

Ivor Bell, 77, appeared in court in Belfast on Saturday charged with aiding and abetting the murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville in 1972, along with membership of the IRA.

The court heard police had decided to charge Bell, who was part of the IRA ceasefire negotiations team, after he gave an interview to researchers compiling a Troubles archive at Boston College in America.

A US court ordered it to be handed over to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Mrs McConville, 37, was snatched from her home by the IRA in front of her children, shot in the back of the head and then secretly buried.

She was accused of passing information to the British Army, although an investigation by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman rejected these claims.

Her children were told their mother had abandoned them.

Her remains were not discovered until August 2003 over the border in the Republic of Ireland, on Shelling Hill beach in County Louth - 50 miles from her home.

The IRA admitted responsibility for her killing in 1999, however no one has ever been charged with her murder.

Bell, from Ramoan Gardens in the Andersonstown district of west Belfast, was arrested on Tuesday. He was refused bail by the district judge.