PSNI to get Boston College IRA tapes

Published Monday, 15 April 2013
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Interviews with former paramilitaries which could hold information about the Disappeared will be made available to police.

PSNI to get Boston College IRA tapes
Jean McConville, who disappeared in 1972, pictured with three of her children. (© Pacemaker)

On Monday, a US Supreme Court judge upheld the ruling that the recordings, carried out under the supervision of Boston College researchers Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre, should be handed over to the authorities.

The discussions, which began in 2001, with republican and loyalist paramilitaries formed part of an oral history of the Troubles.

Ex-IRA member Dolours Price was one of the interviewees, and it is claimed the former prisoner discussed the disappearance of Jean McConville.

The mother of ten was abducted and murdered by the IRA in the 1972. Her body was recovered more than 30 years later.

The interviews were conducted under the assurance that the tapes would not be made public while the subjects were still alive. Price was found dead at her home in Dublin in January this year.

Former IRA member Brendan Hughes, who also took part in the project, died in 2008.

Authorities investigating Mrs McConville's disappearance had called for the US government to subpoena the documents, invoking a treaty between the UK and USA.

But Moloney and McIntyre - himself a former IRA volunteer-turned-writer - had argued that the tapes should be withheld under the First Amendment.

On Monday, an American court refused to hear an appeal lodged by Moloney and McIntyre. A further court ruling on the release of material involving different interviewees is due.

© UTV News
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20 Comments
realistic in planet earth wrote (366 days ago):
when it out on blue ray? :)
jackie in belfast wrote (366 days ago):
@lorna in limavady you or I will never get to hear whats in these tapes, they might ruffle to many feathers!!!
lorna in limavady wrote (368 days ago):
This country needs to know the truth. And maybe there will be some shame faced Government MLA s getting the same abuse as Margaret Thatcher when they pass on.
Realist in England wrote (368 days ago):
Bob - I doubt the words of dead people would stand up in court as they can't be cross-examined and there would presumably be no way to prove the claims, no matter how honest they no doubt were. Should the words of living people be used against them and others, that starts to change things big time. Individuals could be at risk to avoid the risk of them corroborating their claims under oath in a court of law. Secondly - what would actually happen if particular claims resulted in major players at Stormont being implicated in particular events? Would arrests make you happy? Would prosecutions followed by two years in jail make you happy? Try thinking of the bigger picture - the nuclear button would be pressed and Stormont would inevitably fall. Where does society go then? There are quite a few militants out there who are eagerly waiting in the wings to answer that question for you and, trust me, neither of us would welcome their reply. This isn't about justice or 'winning' in some way; pragmatism wins or we all lose.
Patrick in Dorset wrote (368 days ago):
Will anybody ever give a full indept interview again, after this breach of confidentially?
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