**Too bad Scap didn't get what Jean did instead


Suzanne McGonagle
Irish News)

The family of Jean McConville, who was abducted and killed in by the
IRA in 1972 will mark the first anniversary of the discovery of her
body today. Suzanne McGonagle reports.

Relatives of Jean McConville will make a poignant return to the Co
Louth beach today (Friday) where their mother's remains were
discovered a year ago.

Family members will travel to Shelling Hill Beach close to
Carlingford to mark the first anniversary of the discovery of her
remains, almost 31 years after she was abducted from her west Belfast

Mrs McConville, a widowed mother-of-14, was taken from her Divis
Tower home and shot dead by the IRA in 1972.

Her remains were finally found in a scrubland area by a man walking
with children on August 27 last year, about a quarter of a mile from
Templetown Beach where gardai had excavated land during a number of
unsuccessful searches.

The find ended more than three decades of waiting for her surviving
children with the family finally able to lay their mother to rest
last November.

She was returned to the west Belfast streets from where she was
abducted for her funeral, before being buried alongside her husband
Arthur in Lisburn.

Last night Mrs McConville's son Michael said he would be visiting the
Co Louth beach today.

"We are going down to Shelling Hill beach to lay flowers. It is
important for us to mark the day, so we will go down to the beach
where she was found," he said.

Mr McConville said the weeks following the discovery had been the
most difficult time, but that the funeral had also helped him to deal
with his grief.

"The last year has been a lot better for us – you can come to terms
with it now," he said.

"The start of the year was difficult. It was hard to come to terms
with everything, but now it has become a bit easier.

"We know now that we have a place to go to, a place to go and visit
our mother after so many years of not knowing."

Mrs McConville's daughter Helen McKendry also described today as
the "most important anniversary" since her mother's disappearance.

She said she would not be visiting Shelling Hill, as it held too many
difficult memories for her, but would attend nearby Tem-pletown Beach
to erect a plaque in memory of her mother.

"Shelling Hill is a place I will never go back to," she said.

"I know that when we went to Templetown Beach in 1999, it just seemed
like heaven.

"Even when we walked away from there after the first and second digs
I always felt close to the place.

"Seamus (her husband) and I used to walk down to Shelling Beach but I
just never liked it. I thought of it as an evil place.

"We will probably head down to Templetown Beach – we hope to erect a
new plaque there, as some thug wrecked it earlier this year.

"To me this is the most important anniversary and will provide a bit
of closure. The day my mother was found was the best thing that
happened to me."

Mrs McKendry said she felt she had "come a long way" over the past
few years.

"Obviously you do get your down days, I do find that I fall into fits
of depression, but I always pick myself up and dust myself down," she

"I don't think my mum would want me to waste what years I have got

"The anniversary this week is not exactly closure, but the
anniversary does make it real to me.

"I have never been able to grieve for my mum in a proper sense. I was
denied that.

"My friends and family, who will be with me on the anniversary, say
they have seen a great change in me – 'the sparkle in your eyes has
come back' they say – but I don't know."

Jean McConville was one of nine people the IRA admitted kidnapping,
killing and secretly burying during the Troubles.

Despite a series of digs, the bodies of five victims have yet to be

August 28, 2004

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