The inquest into the death of the IRA victim, Jean McConville, was opened in Dundalk this morning and has been adjourned until 5 April.

Mrs McConville's remains were discovered at Shelling Hill beach in Co Louth last August. She had disappeared in December 1972.

Solicitors representing some of Mrs McConville's children requested more time to allow independent experts to examine files from police in the North, and to get more information from the gardaí.

The McConville family also requested permission to be allowed to carry out a forensic examination of a bullet, but Louth County Coroner Ronan Maguire said that request would have to be directed to the garda authorities.

Clarification and further information is also being sought on garda depositions.

The coroner said he would try to address issues of concern to the McConville family, such as if their mother had always been buried at Shelling Hill beach and if she had been abused before her death.