Gerry Adams, the Jean McConville case and the role of Dolours Price

Price, angry with Sinn Féin's strategy and Adams' denial of IRA membership, broke the omertà surrounding the McConville case

Dolours Price bombed her way into the IRA's pantheon when she was part of a team that exploded bombs outside the Old Bailey in 1973.

She was arrested alongside her sister Marian at Heathrow Airport on her way back to Ireland from the bomb scene in central London. Like Brendan Hughes, who remained a close personal friend for the rest of her life, Price became an opponent of Sinn Féin's peace strategy.

Contrary to some reports, it is not known if Dolours made similar allegations about Gerry Adams and the Jean McConville murder on tape to the Boston College-Belfast Project Archive. Just like Hughes, she only agreed that her taped testimony should be released after her death.

However, frustrated over Gerry Adams' repeated denials of IRA membership, Price finally broke the IRA's own code of omertà last year and spoke to an American broadcaster about her role in the McConville killing. Price confessed to help transporting the abducted widow from Belfast across the border to the spot where she was murdered in county Louth.

She had survived hunger strikes in English jails, force feeding by prison staff and a long prison sentence. When she was finally released Dolours too rejected the new pragmatism taking hold in the Republican movement.

She died in 2013 and among those absentees not invited to her funeral was her one time comrade, Adams.


Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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