[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 24 October, 2003, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
IRA 'sorry' for Disappeared
Jean McConville's remains were found on a County Louth beach
The IRA has apologised for the grief caused to the families of the so-called Disappeared.

Its statement on Friday follows confirmation that the remains found recently on a beach in the Irish Republic were those of Belfast woman Jean McConville.

The mother-of-10 is one of the nine so-called Disappeared who were murdered by the IRA and secretly buried during the 1970s.

Four bodies have been recovered since the first IRA statement on the Disappeared was released in 1999 when it said it believed it had identified nine burial sites.

The organisation said it was sorry that the suffering of the families had continued for so long.

But the families of two of the victims said the IRA's apology meant nothing.

Friday's IRA statement said that within the past few months, there had been a re-examination of the information available and that each of those sites had been revisited.

They should give all the disappeared back to their loved ones and let them have peace
Helen McKendry
Victim's daughter

As a result of this it had passed on information relating to the two sites where it believed the bodies of Jean McConville and Colomba McVeigh had been buried.

The IRA said it had acted in good faith and would do all it could to bring closure for the other families.

The body said that if further information became available it would be assessed and processed.

Mrs McConville, 37, was abducted and murdered by the IRA after she went to the aid of a fatally wounded British soldier outside her front door.

Police confirmed on Monday that the remains, found at Shelling Hill beach in County Louth in August, were those of Mrs McConville.

Irish police confirmed that she had died from a bullet wound to the head.

Mrs McConville's daughter Helen McKendry said the statement meant nothing to her.

Inquest

"They will never bring my mother back, " she said.

"The McConville family will never be right again.

"Most of my family needed the IRA to apologise. To me it does not mean anything."

Colomba McVeigh: Remains have never been found
Colomba McVeigh: Remains have never been found
Mrs McKendry added that it was now time for the IRA to tell the other families of the Disappeared where their loved ones were buried.

"They should give all the disappeared back to their loved ones and let them have peace," she said.

Mrs McKendry said the family would not find out how their mother died until an inquest was held, possibly in January.

In a statement at the time of the discovery of the remains, the IRA said it was hopeful this would "bring closure to the trauma and suffering endured by the McConville family".

Colomba McVeigh's body has not been found despite three searches by gardai in County Monaghan, close to the border in the Irish Republic.

He was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1975

His mother Vera said the apology was no use to her.

"I don't want an apology. It's not apologies I'm looking for, it's my son's body," she said.

"The McConvilles, thank God, got their mother's remains, and I'm delighted at that.

"I'd be delighted if I got my own son's remains. But apologies are no good to me."


SEE ALSO:
IRA urged to locate bodies
28 Aug 03  |  Northern Ireland
Victim 'shot in head'
28 Aug 03  |  Northern Ireland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific