Jean McConville is one of those great wake up stories for people who romanticise the modern IRA and the armed Republican movement.
She was rumoured to have helped a wounded British soldier. So a unit of IRA members show up to her flat, some of her neighbours being involved with this unit, and drag her screaming into a van which then takes her away.
They tortured her; beat her so badly that she had broken bones and they mutilated her hands. They then put her on her knees and shot her through the back of the head. Drove her body over the border and buried it at a beach where nobody could find it. It was only uncovered when a storm washed the sand banks away and left her remains visible.
She was originally a Protestant who married a Catholic and converted to Catholicism. She was intimidated out of East Belfast and had to move to the Catholic area of Divis Flats. She was a widow and a mother of ten children. At the time her kids ranged between infancy and late teens. Three weeks after she was taken they were given her purse by a stranger with 52p and her rings inside it. They were informed their mother had “abandoned” them and were divided up amongst different foster families, barely being able to see each other again.
This is an organisation that people are so quick to romanticise as freedom fighters and here on Tumblr you’ll see more than a few people try to talk about how armed revolution is top quality stuff and post pictures of PIRA members for that edgy aeshetic.
The reality of course is that these murdering lunatics decided that local rumours spread by sectarian idiots were enough justification to rip the McConville family apart and take an innocent woman’s life.
There’s a whole visceral level of how disgusting the story of Jean McConville’s murder is. This wasn’t a bombing. This wasn’t a complete disregard for human life, where a bomber simply plants a device, arms it then goes home to wait for the headlines. This was a planned operation with multiple people to personally abduct one woman who had 10 kids to look after by herself, torture her and then execute her. And it is that level of, what I can comfortably describe as, pure malevolent evil which makes the murder of Jean McConville such an important lesson to the deluded fuckwits who want to romanticise the PIRA and its counterparts.
You can paint the overall violence as a response to oppression and some sort of revival of the cause for Irish freedom as much as you’d like. It doesn’t change the fact those murdering lunatics decided that they would bring the gun back into Irish politics and spent a good portion of their time using it to shoot innocent Irish people in the back.
And it’s even more complicated and awful than this.
First of all, the IRA have always claimed that Jean McConville was passing information on to British forces, which pretty much everyone else agrees is a lie. At the time of her murder, one of her sons was serving time in prison for IRA activities. She was murdered in 1972, the IRA didn’t admit they were involved until after the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, her body was eventually found in 2003, and the investigation is still ongoing.
After her murder her children were left alone for three weeks until the stranger arrived with her purse. The Northern Irish police force at the time, the RUC, ignored two reports of her abduction, insisted that McConville had abandoned her children, and didn’t issue an apology for more than thirty years.
Just this week TD (Irish member of parliament) and leader of the Sinn Féin party Gerry Adams was arrested on suspicion of involvement in McConville’s murder. Sinn Féin, of course, essentially being the political wing of the IRA, whose members can never remember from week to week if they’re supposed to be denying their IRA connections or not. In 2005 the then Sinn Féin General Secretary actually said that the murder of McConville was not a criminal act because it took place during The Troubles and she was thought to be an informer.
Don’t fucking dare romanticise the history of someone else’s country because you like to think that you support “freedom” or “independence” or whatever. Don’t you fucking dare.
Except you can’t show a topless woman on TV - and you can’t defibrillate a woman in a bra. So victims of heart attacks on TV are *always* male. Did you know that a woman having a heart attack is more likely to have back or jaw pain than chest or left arm pain? I didn’t - because I’ve never seen a woman having a heart attack. I’ve been trained in CPR and Advanced First Aid by the Red Cross over 15 times in my life, the videos and booklets always have a guy and say the same thing about clutching his chest and/or biceps.
And people laugh when I tell them women are still invisible in this world.
Things I did not know, but should.
This is a post that might save a life.
My mom worked for 25 years as an ER nurse and is convinced that a lot of women die simply because folks only know heart attack symptoms that occur in males.