Northern Ireland news

Jean McConville's family to stage protest over Dolours Price film

A still from the upcoming film 'I, Dolours'
Brendan Hughes

FAMILY members of Jean McConville are to stage a protest against a film about an IRA woman involved in the west Belfast mother's murder.

Some relatives plan to demonstrate outside Movie House Cinemas on Dublin Road this evening during a press screening of the documentary 'I, Dolours'.

The film – which is to be released next month – features interview footage with leading IRA figure Dolours Price and reconstructions of her life using actors.

Price, who died in January 2013, was jailed for her part in the IRA bombing of London's Old Bailey in 1973 which injured 200.

In an interview with The Irish News in 2010, she admitted to driving the kidnapped Mrs McConville to the spot where she was killed in 1972.

The widowed mother-of-10 was one of the so-called Disappeared – those abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles.

Dolours Price at her home in Dublin in 2010. Picture by Mal McCann

Two of her sons have already viewed the new film after being invited to a special screening along with other relatives of the Disappeared.

While relatives of all those who were disappeared were invited to the preview only a handful decided to watch the documentary, during which Price gives details about the IRA murders she was personally involved in.

Jim McConville said he found the film "retraumatising".

"I just think it's in poor taste and was very hard to watch, it also repeats untruths about our mother without giving us any real answers," he said.

Ed Moloney

However journalist Ed Moloney, who produced and co-wrote the film, defended its release.

"There's always going to be people unhappy with films and I'm sorry if they are, but that's just the way it is," he said.

The film uses footage of an interview Mr Moloney recorded with Price in 2010, days after The Irish News' interview.

Mr Moloney said this was separate from Price's earlier involvement in the Boston College project which he directed, in which ex-paramilitaries gave candid interviews on the condition that they would not be published until after their deaths.

His researcher on the project, Anthony McIntyre, recently wrote on his online blog that he and Mr Moloney had an "irreconcilable difference of opinion" over the new film.

Mr Moloney said that Mr McIntyre was aware of the 2010 interview, but added: "He doesn't like the idea of the thing being made into a film, which is fine. It's his view.

"But I made a promise to Dolours that her account of what took place would be made public."

Anthony McIntyre

Mr Moloney was critical of The Irish News' interview at the time it was published, saying that Price was mentally unwell.

However, Mr Moloney yesterday said his interview with Price was "under circumstances that were very controlled" and she was "very cogent throughout".

He said he carried out the interview "because the alternative was that she was going to talk herself into an absolute disaster".

Mr Moloney added that the interview was carried out on the agreement that it would not be released until after her death.

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