Home' Greymouth Star : May 2nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, May 2, 2014
A woman abducted and
murdered by the IRA squealed as
she was dragged away from her
family, her son says.
Jean McConville was taken
down the stairs of a high rise
block of flats, bundled into a van
and never seen again, wrongly
suspected of informing to the
security forces in republican west
Belfast during the height of the
The children looked out the
window and saw the gang
putting their mother into a van,
which drove off with one car in
front and one behind.
Michael McConville, who
was 11 at the time, said her
80th birthday would have been
approaching this year.
“The IRA robbed a family of
their mother growing old, they
took everything away from us,”
“I would have liked to have
seen her being 80.
“I would have liked to have
seen her seeing her children and
grandchildren growing up. She
missed all that.”
The day before the IRA had
come to a bingo hall and taken
her outside, beating her until
she did not know where she was,
Michael McConville said.
She was found, disorientated
and wandering the streets, by the
The family went to the army ’s
“police station” and brought their
“S he had cuts and bruises all
over her face and around her
arms and legs. She said that the
IRA had done it,” he said.
“We wanted her to go to her
mother’s house, my grandmother
lived in east Belfast. She said she
was not going as she had nothing
Her son described what
happened that evening, after a
rap on the door.
“People barged their way in,
some had masks and some had
He recognised some of the
faces as neighbours, people living
in the same Divis flats as them.
“ We knew these people by
name and they knew us by
name,” he said.
“ We held on to our mother
and crying and screaming and
our mother was crying, she was
squealing as well because she
probably knew that if she went
outside what she was going
to go through from the night
Her abductors told her family
they were only taking her for a
short period of time and allowed
another son to leave the room
with her. Once in the stairwell
they put a gun to his head and
told him to “f— off ”.
Michael McConville added:
“As a child I was thinking
why do people do this, the
brutality of what they did the
night before, why do this to my
He was put in a children’s
“ I knew then that my mother
was dead,” he said.
His siblings were put in separate
properties, meeting rarely.
“ When I see my younger
brothers and sisters, the way
they have turned out, it really
wrecks me, it should never have
happened to us,” he said. — PA
Mother ‘squealed’ as IRA took her, recalls son
Show a bit of
Minister denied any political
motivation behind the arrest of
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
who is being questioned as part
of an investigation into one of the
province’s most notorious murders.
“Is anybody going to say to me
that if the police are aware of
claims and evidence in relation
to such a barbaric killing that it
would be political policing for
them to question those who have
been suggested to have been
involved?” Peter Robinson asked reporters
“I would suggest to you that it would be
political policing if the PSNI had not questioned
those that were deemed to have been involved
in any way,” Robinson said.
Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister
Martin McGuinness said the arrest of Adams,
65, was a deliberate attempt by unidentified
“dark” forces within the Police Ser vice of
Northern Ireland (PSNI) to undermine the
peace process and said it was linked to elections
later this month.
Nuala O’Loan, a former Northern Ireland
police ombudsman who in 2006 investigated
the police’s handling of the murder, disagreed. “ I
am quite sure the police would not have arrested
Mr Adams had they not felt that they had the
reasons to do so.”
Political leaders on both sides of the Irish Sea
rejected Sinn Fein’s suggestions of a political
motive for the arrest.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said
there was absolutely no political interference, a
view echoed by Peter Robinson, First Minister
of Northern Ireland.
The chairman of Irish Prime Minister Enda
Kenny ’s party, Fine Gael, said Sinn Fein’s
suggestions of a political motivation were
“ baseless and desperate”.
Police questioned Adams overnight after
arresting him under an investigation into one
of the province’s most notorious murders, in
a move that stirred fierce political reaction in
Britain and Ireland.
Reviled by many in Britain as the spokesman
for the Irish Republican Army in the 1980s,
Adams reinvented himself as a Northern
Ireland peacemaker and then as a
populist opposition politician in
the Irish parliament.
His Sinn Fein party said he was
arrested on Wednesday evening
by police investigating the 1972
abduction and murder of Jean
McConville, a mother of 10
Adams can be held for up to 48
hours before a judge must rule
on whether he can be detained
any longer. Under British anti-
terrorism laws, a suspect can be
held for up to 28 days before being
The investigation into McConville’s killing has
been revived by the release of a series of taped
inter views given by former guerrillas from the
Northern Ireland conflict for a research project
at Boston College in the United States.
The Northern Ireland police took legal steps
to acquire the inter views, parts of which have
already been released after one IRA inter viewee
died.The BBC played excerpts from an inter view
given by late IRA man Brendan Hughes, who
fell out with Adams, accusing the Sinn Fein
leader of responsibility for McConville’s killing.
Joe Rice, a Belfast lawyer who has represented
senior Republicans over the past three decades,
said the tapes would be of little evidential
value but would offer a lot of “probative value”,
meaning police could play them and demand
that Adams respond to details in the recordings.
Under the 1998 Good Friday agreement,
which drew a line under 30 years of sectarian
strife in the British province, those convicted of
paramilitary murders during the conflict would
have life sentences reduced to two years.
No-one has been charged with McConville’s
murder although Ivor Bell, 77, an IRA man in
the 1970s, has been charged with aiding and
Adams has recently had to deal with
controversy closer to home. The Sinn Fein
leader was forced to distance himself from
his brother, Liam Adams, who was sentenced
last year to 16 years in prison for raping his
daughter when she was a child. Prosecutors
decided not to prosecute Gerry over allegations
of withholding information from the police on
the issue. — Reuters
Queensland’s small business minister
has apologised for telling a retailer to
show a bit of leg to help improve her
Jann Stuckey told a clothing store in
Brisbane to “get a bit of leg out ” when
she was asked about how to boost
foot traffic during a visit to a Brisbane
Stuckey said she had apologised for
her comments, calling it light-hearted
“ I enjoyed my visit to Calamvale
Shopping Centre this week, where I
engaged in light-hearted banter with
a number of retailers, including Instyle
Boutique,” she told The Courier-Mail.
“ I have since contacted the business
owner to apologise for any offence that
may have been taken by that banter. ”
Boutique manager Tammy Young said
she was not offended, but said she hoped
the Newman government had more
plans for small business than what the
minister offered during her visit.
“ I think it ’s great she gets out and visits
the small businesses and hopefully she’ ll
put some ideas in place to make it busier
and get some more business through the
Stuckey, who is also the tourism
minister, has been dogged by staff
departures amid claims she is difficult to
She copped a wave of criticism after
heading to the Maldives to holiday over
Christmas 2012, just after launching
a tourism campaign urging people to
holiday at home. — A AP
Comforted by her husband Prince Charles,
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, led mourners
at the funeral of her brother Mark Shand.
The 62-year-old conser vationist and travel
writer died after falling and hitting his head
on the pavement outside the Gramercy Park
Hotel in New York on April 22, after attending
a charity auction.
His death left Camilla, wife of the heir to
the British throne, “utterly devastated”, a
spokesman for Clarence House said.
Around 180 people attended Shand’s funeral
overnight at the Holy Trinity Church in
Stourpaine, a village in Dorset, south-west
England, where the family lives.
Mourners included Conser vative MP
Nicholas Soames and Zac Goldsmith.
The duchess’s younger brother was known for
his dedication to protecting the endangered
Asian elephant. He founded the conser vation
charity Elephant Family.
Shand leaves behind a 19-year-old daughter,
Ayesha, by his former wife Clio Goldsmith,
the French former actress. The teenager paid a
personal tribute at the funeral ser vice.
Shand’s nephew Ben Elliot read from his
uncle’s book, Travels on my Elephant.
The musician Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat
Stevens, flew in from the United States to
perform an acoustic version of his hit Wild
The conser vationist ’s wicker coffin, garlanded
by flowers, was carried out of the church to
Colonel Hathi’s March (The Elephant Song)
from the 1967 animated film The Jungle Book.
Charles held his wife’s hand as they left the
church. The duchess wept and he put his arm
around her as they walked to the nearby family
home for a private reception. — AFP
Camilla mourns her
brother at funeral
Santander de Quilichao (Colombia)
At least three people have died and
up to 30 more are feared dead after the
collapse of an illegal goldmine in western
“ We arrived at the scene and managed
to remove three bodies,” Victor Claros,
head of the firefighters in the Colombia’s
Cauca State, where the disaster took
Two people pulled alive from the mine
had been taken to hospital, he added.
But Claros could offer little hope for
those who were not pulled to safety
immediately after the cave-in, saying
that some of the workers were buried
under 20m of earth.
“ It is impossible that anyone could have
sur vived,” Claros said.“ There is too much
earth and rocks and mud.”
Claros said the accident happened at
a mine outside the city of Santander
de Quilichao, where independent
mine workers were excavating without
Colombia has more than 14,000 mines,
more than half of which operate without
proper permits, officials said. — AFP
Google will pay just under $500,000 in
tax in Australia, despite almost doubling
its profits Down Under to $46.5 million.
It is believed the Tax Office issued the
international company with a $7.1m tax
bill for the year ending December 31,
but after deductions the final bill will be
$466,802, Fairfax reported.
It is not known if Google is one of three
multinational tech companies being
audited by the Tax Office, on suspicion
of shifting profits overseas, and a Google
spokesman declined to comment.
However, the spokesman said the
company had paid $7.1m in corporate
taxes “and $15m in payroll and other taxes
in Australia as part of our investment in
a local workforce of over 900 people”.
Australian profits rose to $46m last
year from $26m a year earlier.
A spokesman for the Tax Justice
Network, Mark Zirnsak, said more action
was needed on companies operating in
the digital economy to ensure they pay
their fair share of tax. — AAP
Go home, airline tells
Malaysia Airlines will cease to provide hotel
accommodation for relatives of missing flight
MH370 passengers by May 7, the airline says.
The Malaysian flag carrier has provided hotel
accommodation for relatives in a number of
countries — most of them in Malaysia and
China — where it provided them periodic
updates on the situation since shortly after the
flight mysteriously disappeared on March 8.
But relatives’ tempers have repeatedly flared,
particularly at the Lido Hotel in Beijing, where
Chinese families have regularly lashed out at
officials from the Malaysian government and
the airline over their inability to explain the
“Instead of staying in hotels, the families of
MH370 are advised to receive information
updates on the progress of the search and
investigation and other support by Malaysia
Airlines within the comfort of their own homes,
with the support and care of their families and
friends,” the airline said in a statement.
“In line with this adjustment, Malaysia Airlines
will be closing all of its family assistance centres
around the world by May 7, 2014.”
The government-controlled carrier also said
it would soon make advance compensation
payments to the next-of-kin of the 239 people
on board the plane, part of a final package to
be agreed upon later, but did not specify the
amounts. — AFP
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