Irish Republican News · November 3, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Funeral brings closure for McConville family

After 31 years, Saturday marked the end of the controversy over the lost remains of one of the earliest victims of the Six-County conflict.

Jean McConville was one of the `Disappeared', a handful of victims of the conflict whose remains have not been recovered.

After an intensieve effort, her remains were located and finally identified last month. On Saturday, she was buried in Lisburn following an emotional ceremony at St Paul's Church on the Falls Road.

Last week, the IRA apologised for the grief caused by its failure to locate the remains of McConville and the other Disappeared'.

In a statement, it said:

``Following the recovery and confirmation of the identity of the remains of Jean McConville, we would like to take this opportunity to state our position in relation to those killed and buried by the IRA.

We are sorry that the suffering of those families has continued for so long. We wish to apologise for the grief caused.

We believe that the sites identified are the locations where those killed by the IRA are buried.

The IRA is not responsible in any way for the disappearance of a number of other people who have gone missing over the past 30 years.

Many complicating factors have both hampered and protracted our investigation, established under the command of one of our most senior Volunteers. These included the lapse in time, changes in leadership and the deaths of both members and former members of Oglaigh na hEireann who were involved.

In some instances the topography of the locations underwent major changes.

Some months ago we undertook a detailed re-examination of all the available information, including revisiting each site. As a result we passed on information regarding two sites, where the bodies of Jean McConville and Columba McVeigh had been buried. We have acted in good faith in regard to this issue and continue to do so.

Our intention in initiating our investigation has been to rectify this injustice, for which we accept full responsibility.

During the course of all these searches we have continued to process all information that might assist in any way. So far the remains of four people have been recovered. We will do all that we can to bring closure for the other families.

If further information comes to light we will assess and process that information.''

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© 2003 Irish Republican News