Northern Ireland

Writer denies transcript names Marian Price in Jean McConville murder

Marian Price
Marian Price

A New York Times journalist has defended his book over criticism in relation to the allegation that Marian Price was involved in the murder of Jean McConville.

Patrick Radden Keefe made fresh claims about the 1972 murder of the Belfast woman in a new book, 'Say Nothing'.

However, writer Ed Moloney has denied that redactions of an interview he conducted with Dolours Price had named her sister Marian in connection with the killing.

The new book alleges Marian Price was the mystery third member of an IRA squad who killed Mrs McConville, one of the so-called Disappeared – those abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles.

A lawyer for Marian Price last week said she "vehemently denies" the allegations.

Dolours, who died in 2013, admitted in an interview with The Irish News in 2010 that she drove the west Belfast mother-of-10 across the border to her death.

In a separate interview with Mr Moloney, she admitted being part of the three-person IRA unit involved in the murder but denied firing the fatal bullet.

Piecing together information including a redacted transcript of Mr Moloney's interview and details from an unnamed source, the book alleges Marian fired the shot that killed Mrs McConville.

Mr Moloney denied that redacted sections in his interview with Dolours named her sister.

Ed Moloney
Ed Moloney

"It does no such thing. In fact no name or names are mentioned in the very small redaction," he said.

He said that "had Marian Price's name been there, or if she was identified in other ways, you can be sure that long before this, the PSNI would have arrested her for questioning" after the recordings were seized by police.

Responding on Mr Moloney's blog, Mr Keefe defended the book and said he was also "using other sources".

He added: "But while I concede the narrow point here and must take Ed's word for it that the un-redacted transcript does not contain the name, if what he redacted was the gender of that individual, then this is a distinction without much of a difference."

A spokeswoman for publisher HarperCollins said the author's "research and reporting was extensive and thorough and we have taken every step to ensure the book is published responsibly and that all relevant parties are aware of any allegations contained therein".

Marian was convicted along with her sister Dolours for their part in the IRA car bomb attack on London's Old Bailey courts in 1973 which injured more than 200 people.

Dolours Price
Dolours Price