sabato 11 agosto 2012

Jean McConville. The black bowels of the monster

Personal Prologue:
In the early 90's, me and three friends of mine went on holiday in the Republic of Ireland. Beautiful country, bad food (1), wonderful people. Taking a Grand Tour, we found ourself near the Ulster's border. One of my friends insisted to see in the other part, and we entered in Northern Ireland. It was an unpleasant experience. The small town we visited was the same as any other city across the border, except for books on the SAS (Special Air Service) in the windows of the library and the British flag waving from a flagpole. The only real difference was the attitude of the people. In Ireland no one cared, and when we were recognized as foreigners, the people were friendly at 99% of occasions. In Northern Ireland, however, what the people noticed we as foregners, they staring at us like we were B.E.M.s . My freaky friend insisted to go to Belfast or Derry, but in practice we loaded him in the car and fled to the south.
At that time, the "Troubles" had lasted 35 years.
Jean McConville.

Mrs Jean McConville is the fourth person contained in the official list of the Northern Irish "Disappeared". This list contains (as defined by the rapporteur Malcolm Sutton): "Persons kidnapped, killed and secretly buried during the years 70 and 80, whose bodies were not recovered when the Independent Commission for the Recovery of Victims Remains (ICLVR) was founded in 1999 in compliance with the Good Friday Agreement's IRA on "Disappeared". "
In other words, the "Disappeared" are the people vanished into thin air during Northern Ireland "Troubles", whose death is directly attributable to either party in the field, the Catholic or Protestant paramilitaries.
The complete list includes 25 names, and two victims are women, Mrs Jean McConville and Lisa Dorrian (2).

Sutton list (MISSING due to the IRA)
Kidnapping date
Date of recovery of the remains
Joseph Lynskey

September 1972

Seamus Wright

Andersonstown, Belfast

Kevin McKee
Andersonstown, Belfast

Jean McConville
Divis Flats, Falls Road, Belfast
Peter Wilson
St James, Belfast
August 1973
Eamonn Molloy
North Belfast
Columba McVeigh
Dungannon, Tyrone

Robert Nairac

May 1977

Brendan Megraw
Twinbrook, Belfast

John McClory
West Belfast
Brian McKinney
West Belfast
Gerard Evans
Crossmaglen, Armagh
Danny McIlhone

West Belfast
Luglio 1981
Charles Armstrong
Crossmaglen, Armagh
Seamus Ruddy
Kidnapped in France

DISAPPEARED due to IRA discovered before the Good Friday Agreement
Eugene Simons

The persons included in the list were defined by 'IRA "traitors" or "informers of the British Army". Their abduction, and subsequent killing, were performed by two special cells under the directly command of the Belfast's IRA brigade commander , Gerry Adams. These cells, known as the "Unknown" within the organization, were initially made up of 3 elements, then increased to 4, and they were specialized in counterintelligence.
There is no doubt that the first three victims of the list (Joseph Lynskey, Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee) were definitely part of this category, as IRA's members co-opted by British intelligence.
Peter Wilson, however, was an mentally retarded adult...The rumor says that he was killed because had spoken with British soldiers (?).
The seventh in the list (Robert Nairac) was a British army captain on a secret mission to Belfast.
John McClory and Brian McKinney were two thieves who were executed for robbing a club connected with the IRA.
Other (Eamonn Molloy, Columba McVeigh, Brendan Megraw, Danny McIlhone, Charles Armstrong) fall into twilight zone where nothing is certain, because there are no official figures from the British Army or RUC (2). These people, killed as informers, were not recognized as such by those who should be their employers (the fact remains that may have been truly informants).
Seamus Ruddy was kidnapped and killed in France, as a result of yet another division in the Provisionals. His brother refused to say to secessionists the location of some IRA's segret arsenals and they revenged on the next parent.
Returning to the first three "Disappeared", the fact that they were of the IRA's organic caused a problem with the IRA leadership, or Gerry Adams. Until then, the traitors, or supposed traitors, were killed after being "seeded" in areas where they would be found, sometimes adorned with electricals batteries and cables (to make people believe them to be booby-trapped), and was always indicated by telephone to the media the place where lies the corpse. However, since Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee members of families for which the militancy was a tradition, it was officially decided to avoid the dishonor to the family (in reality, not to say that the British intelligence had infiltrated the organization), and then did vanish the bodies. After these kidnappings , the disappearance or, what we would call the "Lupara bianca (3)" became a constant for the cases considered embarrassing.

Jean McConville was a Northern Irish woman born in 1936 in Belfast East (4) in a working-class family of the Protestant faith. In 1956 she married Arthur McConville, a Catholic Northern Irish British Army soldier. A true love marriage. She was converted to the faith of her husband, and over 10 years, fathered 10 children (Ann, Robert, Arthur, Helen, Agnes, Michael, Thomas, Susan, William, James). Arthur leave the Army in 1964 and working as a construction worker.
In 1968 began the "Troubles". In the Protestant Area began to mount the hate for the "papists" and the McConville family was forced to flee their home. In 1970 they found shelter in West Belfast, in an apartment in the Divis Flats. The Divis flats was a popular complex, totally controlled by the Provos (5).
It is not registered when the first daughter, Ann, began to show signs of mental disorder. In 1971 her husband Arthur became ill of cancer.
At the beginning of 1972 the family situation was this:
Her husband had died of cancer in February. The first child had been interned in a psychiatric hospital, the second son of seventeen, Robert, was jailed for taking part in the fighting against the British soldiers. William, one of the last two children, had lost a kidney, and the 15 year old daughter Helen had broken a leg. It seems that after all these misfortunes, the poor Jean had a nervous breakdown.
On November 29, 1972, Jean McConville was stopped in a Bingo hall, forced to board a car, and taken to a building. There he was interrogated (beaten) for four hours. It seems that in the meantime, his apartment was searched, and the men of the IRA find a radio with which she made his reports (So was told in 2000 to the journalist Ed Moloney by a IRA's member ).
On the night of 29, a British army patrol came across a woman who walked barefoot in a daze and injured close to the street where the McConville family lived. The soldiers took her to barracks in Albert Street, and questioned. The woman claimed to have been beaten up and declared that be Mary McConville and live in the area. She said no more. The soldiers let her go home.
Mary McConville was the name of the mother-in-law, and it is clear that the woman was Jean McConville.
The children claimed that on 6 December 1972 the mother returned home with evidence of beatings.
On 7 December 1972, eight people in balaclavas, males and females, showed up at the door of the McConville family, and drew his mother in front of her seven terrified children. The sixteen year old Arthur wanted to accompany her, but one of the men pulled out a gun and pointed it to him in the head, threatening to kill him.

Jean McConville came down the stairs and disappeared.


The neighborhood gossip accused Mrs. McConville of being a "Brit Lover". When the woman never returned home, he was rumored that she had abandoned his children to live with a British soldier in England.
The few existing images of Jean does not seem to exhibit its own particular charm, and the events of his life would make anyone aged prematurely. But to be a "Brit Lover" did not need a sexual relationship. Some girls were so marked for merely talking to the soldiers in uniform. A rumor of Jean stated that the reputation of a "Brit Lover" would have earned if attending an English soldier shot by a sniper in front of his house ... but there is no trace in the military records of a similar event in the 1970/1972 period . It seems that it has actually helped a wounded British soldier, but this would take place before the year 70, when the family still lived in Divis Flats, and new neighbors might not know anything. In October / November 1972 in Belfast at least 14 women were punished by the IRA for this crime. The typical procedure for a "Brit Lover" was the shaving of hair and / or the covering of the head with tar or black paint and feathers ... nothing too violent (6). Moreover, the "Boyos" were Catholics and chivalrous (or at least they believed to be).

From the point of view of the British soldiers, as the Divis Flats a free zone, they actually had the need to informants or "spotter" when, that is, someone to show him when the Provos teams came out , and where the snipers were located.
In 1972, Mrs. McConville was in obvious need, and some money paid by the state would have been useful. Also, I suppose that she would do everything to release his son from prison.
Apart from the dubious morality of proposing a thing of this kind to a woman in those conditions, the concept of "spotters" had a meaning. It would not make much sense, however, propose to her in particular, since she had just arrived in the area and, although she were converted and had married a Catholic, was always an "orange" (7), then the first person on whom it would be suspected. The IRA source told the journalist Ed Moloney that the Lady did not seem to reach for espionage, and did notable for its excessive and unusual curiosity.
The first interview is the standard IRA method against suspects. The search of the apartment leading to the discovery of the radio, but gives rise to doubt, since none of the children mentioned both the radio and search, and it seems rather unlikely that such an object is able to hide in a small apartment where there are 8 boys ...
The fate of discovered informers was the death. The fact that Jean was obtained after the first interrogation can be explained in two opposite ways: In the first case, those who questioned did not find anything to substantiate the allegations, even after physical pressures, and let her go because he was innocent. In the second case, the evidence was overwhelming, but the fact that she was a widow with 10 children convinced the inquisitors to give him a second chance.
The kidnapping of December 7 seems to indicate that she had resumed his espionage ... the Ed Moloney's IRA source said that was found a second radio in the Jean's apartment...
At this point, we are hearing the screaming of madness' sirens.
If she was really an informant, it is disconcerting that the British official manager who has provided (and forced to use it) another radio (8), since she was already apparently "fired" ... unless he was a real criminal.
On the side of the Provos, there was a cruelty and stupidity equal to that of the supposed British official. Even if the woman had been an informant, to kill her would be a terrible "debacle" in terms of image. Murder a defenseless widow with 10 children, even if "orange", would be good for the Mafia, not for the IRA ... Moreover, the "Boyos" could force her to give false information, making her a double agent, and then download the hot potato into the hands of the Brits ...
But it is evident that these considerations were not crossed in the Provos' mind .

Jean McConville came down the stairs and disappeared.

The 8 children were awaiting her return for 5 weeks, absolutely ignored by their neighbors. Two days after the disappearance, the children went to report the incident to the barracks of the soldiers in Albert Street, and the RUC's Police Station in Hastings Street. The RUC ignored completely and not opened an investigation to the kidnapping (9) but merely report Mrs. McConville as a missing person. On January 17, his daughter Helen went to the Association for Civil Rights for help. A local newspaper recounted the history and promoted an appeal.
An interesting aspect of the story are the information reached to the British secret service:

Statement of January 2, 1973: Do you feel around that Jean McConville was abducted by the Provos because she is an informant.

Statements of 17 January 1973:
The information indicates that Mrs. McConville is held captive by the Provos in Dundalk.
The information indicates that Mrs McConville was abducted by the Provos because involved in drug trafficking.
The information indicates that ordinary people would like the family was reunited.

Statement of 17 March 1973: Information received by the military suggest that the rapture is an elaborate fake.

Statement of 24 March 1973: The following information received by the military say that there was a fake kidnapping, she has gone to her will and is currently in safe.

As you can see, the truth was already known to intelligence services on January 2, a week before that Helen sought help. The briefings are part of the subsequent cover story put about by "Boyos". The spread of a "Maskirovka" (12) suggests that the Provos were ashamed of killing Jean, or at least, who would like to dispel suspicions about them. Oddly enough, if she was really a spy.

Jean's children were taken into government's care and dispersed in different institutions.
They continued to fight for years to learn the truth about the fate of their mother, but they fought against a wall of indifference by the Provos and the authorities. It seems clear that Jean McConville, from death, gave more trouble than when she was alive. In particular, Helen and her husband Seamus were molested for years by the IRA, in an attempt to stop their search.
In 1995, a final statement to the intelligence services (and therefore not disclosed to the public) said, after decades of silence, that she had been murdered by the Provisionals.
In 1998 we were finally on Good Friday Accords. This treaty between the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland was the decisive step forward for the total end of the fighting and the normalization of the situation in Ulster. Among other things, the Treaty estabilished an Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR), specific for the "Disappeared", and guaranteed anonymity and impunity of the informants.
Things began to move. In 1999 the IRA finally admitted its responsibility in the killings of the "Disappeared". As for Jean McConville, was told that his death had been accidental, as would have been stifled by mistake with a plastic bag during the second interrogation. It was also agreed that most of the hidden burials had been carried across the border in the Eire's territory.
The burial place of Mrs McConville was indicated on the beach at Shelling Hill Beach in County Louth, Ireland, just across the border. During 1999, the Republic of Ireland police (An Garda Siochana) dug in an area of ​​a football field, without finding anything.

In 2003, a storm of exceptional violence lashed Shelling Beach, eroding the platform of the local car park. A man and his son went for a walk after the storm, and noticed a skeleton in the moved sand.
DNA tests proved that the poor remains were those of Mrs Jean McConville.
Some data suggest that the IRA's Maskirovka is continued until discovery.
The remains were found in an area 900 meters away from the zone indicated by the informants.
The analysis of the skull revealed that the woman had been killed by a bullet in the neck, in apparent contradiction to the thesis of a accidental asphyxiation during interrogation.
Some news reports speak of broken limbs as a result of torture, but that is not listed on the official report. Instead, it appears that the skeleton missing the last phalanges, a sign of the removal of the fingertips, apparently to avoid personal recognition.
From the analysis and evidence, it seems that the woman was very little in the hands of his captors, and was carried live across the border and killed in the beach where she was found.
The funeral of Jean McConville was celebrated Nov. 2, 2003, present the survived childen.

Jean McConville came down the stairs and disappeared.

The disappearance of Jean McConville give me the impression of being a concentrate of the bad conscience of all the actors in that troubled land.
His crime, to be informant, does not seem quite experienced. The story of the phantom radio, in my view, it looks like a Mcguffin of a 007's novel, and not a procedure of the British army... But, if true, would be just another symptom of the stupidity showed for years by the British army in Northern Ireland. In addition, the IRA has never been shown or indicated that damage was caused to the work of informant. All this gives the impression that they wanted to punish Jean in advance for what he could do.
The events after the first examination show only the bloody stupidity on the part of both the British (the persistence to want to use her as informant) and the Provos (only to see her execution as the only solution).
Hiding his body, rather than solve, increased the Provos' problems. For the English (assuming that she was an informant) the disappearance of Jean was just a pencil line on a name. There were no repercussions. The Provos, however, had to deny, hide, divert suspicion. But the black bowels of the monster are revealed also in the actions of the supporting actors in the background ... Neighbors who ostracize for weeks Jean's sons, do not even have the courage to say goodbye or leaving a bottle of milk on the house's door ... The officers of the RUC did not investigated because they had better things to do, then why in the end Jean was an apostate who had married a Papist ... officials of the social services that divided the family, and who wrote on the certificates of the younger children "deserted by mother" ...
Figuratively all, Catholic and Protestant, joined his shovelful of sand to hide the poor Jean ...
And repeatedly over the years, her goul returned to haunt the IRA and its leaders.The long wave from of that cold December night's event still continues to give serious problems to Gerry Adams and associates.
The last words of the 2006 report of the Police Ombudsman (14) Northern Ireland say that: "She was an innocent woman who was abducted and Murdered.". We could also say the case of Jean McConville fully embodies the demons that have haunted the Northern Ireland for decades.

(1) For an Italian man, obivus
(2) Lisa Dorrian was kidnapped in 2005 by Protestant paramilitaries, and her disappearance, rather than for political reasons, seems to be linked to rape (author's opinion).
(2) Royal Ulster Constabulary, the Ulster Police Department, and the period of which we speak, in practice the police of the Protestants.
(3) An italian term to indicate “kidnapping and killing and secret burial”
(4) It is the Belfast Protestant area, West Belfast is the Catholic area. The two communities do not mix.
(5) Provisional IRA. Armed group derived from a split in the IRA in 1969, and particularly active in Belfast. All actions performed as indicated by 'IRA" in this paper are Provos' works
(6) Compared with a bullet, it seems less violent. But the thing is always brutal and disgusting. (7) Protestant Northern Irishman. (8) Considering that in espionage, there are thousands of ways to communicate, this supposed radio seems to me a fetish, an obsession. (9) Interviewed in 2000, One of the RUC's leaders at the time stated that: "there were more important things to do" ... (10) Russian term meaning masking and indicates the art of denial, deception and concealment, and the consequent actions. (11) Independent Authority that supervised the work of the investigating police

The secret history of the IRA Ed Moloney

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