Northern Ireland news

Marian Price denies murder of Jean McConville

Marian Price speaking at a dissident republican Easter commemoration.

A LAWYER representing veteran republican Marian Price has said she "vehemently denies" allegations contained in a recently published book that link her to the murder of Jean McConville.

Say Nothing, A true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland, by New York Times journalist Patrick Radden Keefe, is based largely on the PSNI investigation into the 1972 murder of the mother of 10, kick started by the controversial Boston College project.

IRA woman Dolours Price, who died in 2013 and republican Brendan Hughes who died in 2008, both gave lengthy interviews to the so called Belfast Project, copies of which were later passed to the PSNI.

Based in large parts on the testimony of Dolours Price, which was given to the author by the project's director Ed Moloney, the book follows the story of Mrs McConville's murder and the secretive IRA unit responsible.

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Dolours Price previously admitted to the Irish News that she drove Mrs McConville across the border to her death, but in a second interview with Moloney admits that along with two other people she had been present when the murder took place.

Piecing together information provided by Moloney and Boston College researcher and former IRA prison Anthony McIntyre, as well as a third unnamed source, the author makes a previously unheard allegation about Price.

Former IRA woman Marian Price pictured in 1973.

The book claims Marian Price fired the fatal shot that killed Mrs McConville, before she was secretly buried in an unmarked grave in Co Louth. Her remains were discovered in 2003.

The author says after joining together information contained in transcripts provided by Moloney, he asked a third, unnamed' person about the theory.

"This person confirmed she (Marian) had, that Dolours had said the execution of Jean McConville was 'something the sisters had done together', Mr Radden Keefe states.

Convicted along with her sister, for the bombing of the Old Bailey in London in 1973, Ms Price was released from prison in 1980 on a Royal Prerogative of Mercy, due to her deteriorating health.

She returned to public eye in the late 1990s as an opponent of Sinn Féin's political strategy.

In 2014 she was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for three years, for offences connected to a 2009 RIRA attack, in which two British soldiers were killed at Massereene barracks in Antrim.

Price admitted purchasing a mobile phone used to make a number of calls to the media in which the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the attack.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC said at the time he was suspending her sentence on account of medical reports warning that further imprisonment would damage her mental health.

Marian Price (left) with her sister Dolours pictured in prison after their 1973 conviction for bombing the Old Bailey in London.

Since then the west Belfast woman has rarely been seen in public.

Jean McConville's son Michael said this week he is asking for an urgent meeting with the PSNI to discuss the latest allegations.

Marian Price's solicitor Peter Corrigan of Phoenix Law said yesterday: "My client, Marian Price vehemently denies any involvement in the murder of Jean McConville.

"She outright refutes any assertion to the contrary. We have now been instructed to review the publication in question, and the appropriate action will follow if necessary."

Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe, published by Harper Collins goes on sale this week.

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