Transcript: Radio Free Eireann Interview with Carrie Twomey

WBAI Radio New York City USA
Radio Free Eireann
Saturday, 14 January 2012

Telephone interview with Carrie (Twomey) McIntyre (CT) concerning The Belfast Project and the subpoena served on Boston College

John McDonagh (JM) Sandy Boyer (SB) and Brian Mór (BM) interviewing.

John McDonagh (JM): We’re expecting Carrie McIntyre to call in. She’s actually an American citizen, originally from California, who’s now living over in Ireland. Her husband is Anthony McIntyre, who is involved with a project of getting audio of people that were involved with the struggle, particularly IRA people, in the past thirty years and they turned the tapes over to Boston College to preserve; and not to be released until whoever was in the interview had died and then it would be released. Ed Moloney’s done a book on it called Voices From the Grave. Maybe you could to an introduction…

Sandy Boyer (SB): We have Carrie McIntyre on the line. Carrie, thanks for being with us.

Carrie Twomey (CT): Thank you, Sandy, for having me on.

SB: It’s our pleasure. Now, John just gave the background on this whole episode with Boston College. Boston College is, unfortunately, willing to turn over all these records to the British government who wants them for the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Can you give us any updates on the case?

CT: As you have just outlined there, Boston College appears to have taken a corporate decision akin to Penn State, in that it would rather protect the institution and its funding than do the right thing and honor its promises. It’s extremely frustrating. It’s a horrible situation for all of us here who had depended on the promises and the legal guarantees that they had given to get this project going.

The latest news is there will be a hearing in the lower court on the 23rd of January in Boston. This is, basically we had filed a complaint saying that the Department of Justice did not honour its obligations under the MLAT, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. The US government filed a Motion to Dismiss on it and the Judge has decided he will hold a hearing, which will be held at, ironically enough, Boston College. He’s doing this because he normally does seminars with law students and this year he’s doing it at Boston College so it’s just sort of fortuitous for him in that sense.

In addition to that, I really feel that our own personal situation and the personal safety of the participants in this project is at risk and that is being overlooked by the court. This is a very dangerous time with people like Danny Morrison labeling my husband as an informer and those that participated in this project as informers. When the book came out, they were trying to paint Brendan Hughes as an informer which is just an amazing, terrible accusation to make against somebody who was a great Republican.

Unfortunately, the climate of hate that they create, and Anthony is a hate figure within certain circles, (it) makes it very dangerous when allegations like that are tossed around. This puts everybody’s lives in danger. So I am going to Washington, DC to raise this as an American citizen and the mother of two American citizens and tell them: this is not just about dusty papers in an archive. This is about people’s lives. And, if you’re not going to pay attention to people in Ireland, well, this is also about American lives, too. It’s about academic freedom, it’s about the First Amendment but it’s also about people, and that’s the main thing that I’m concerned with right now, the people involved.

SB: That’s very specific, Carrie.

Brian Mór (BM): Hey, Carrie. This is Brian Mór.

CT: Hi, Brian. How are you?

BM: Good, Carrie. Happy to have you in the country but it’s very sad under these conditions. Carrie, yesterday in a report in The Irish Voice online, Niall O’Dowd more or less summed everything up by saying that these people, the rest of these testimonies, are people who are all against Gerry Adams and the Republican movement. So I’m surprised that nobody has asked Niall for his testimony because he knows who all the people involved in this thing is and, let’s cut right to the chase and ask Niall; he seems to know everything.

CT: Unfortunately for Niall O’Dowd, he is badly misinformed. And his article yesterday was so obviously based on some sort of briefing document that he must have been passed. And I say obviously because, if you look at the article itself, when he’s making direct reference to quotes, he quotes a fax that he says was sent from the Librarian, Bob O’Neill, to Ed Moloney in May, 2000, and the quote says “a further affidavit states”…and then goes on to reference [another quote]. In May of 2000, Bob O’Neill would hardly be sending faxes to Ed Moloney talking about further affidavits. He obviously pasted the wrong part of the document that he’d been sent briefing him. And in addition to that, the reference to that quote [he was] referring to, was talking about a section that was in the Moloney agreement of January, 2001. So, Number 1: he’s badly misinformed.

Number 2: You’re a hundred percent right. Niall O’Dowd has no idea who was interviewed and who wasn’t. There were a number of people, and according to court records, there were twenty-six people who were interviewed. They could have [been] all sorts of people. Nobody knows. There’s a huge amount of speculation about what is contained in this archive. And it’s a very dangerous thing to be doing: to be talking about it when you don’t know what’s in these archives.

And in addition to that, even if they were all anti-GFA or whatever, so what? So what. Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre are not the only people who are in charge of history. Is Niall O’Dowd going to turn around and say that Sinn Fein has never created an Oral History of pro-GFA people. I mean, come on, how stupid does he think people are?

JM: You’re listening to Radio Free Eireann and we’re speaking with Carrie McIntyre who is coming out to The States on her own because Anthony McIntyre has been barred from coming out to The States even though he had a book launch here in this country. Carrie — along with the same article that Lord O’Dowd did put out, and I would have no doubt that Lord O’Dowd would want Ed Moloney and Anthony to put out books of fiction, just like Gerry Adams, he would be far happier with that. But, as far as setting people up to be hurt, here’s one of the paragraphs: “both Moloney and McIntyre are arch-critics of Sinn Fein’s leader, Gerry Adams, and the only people interviewed were of the same opinion.” Now how he knows this I don’t know. But here’s the rest of that, the final part of the article: “Now Moloney and McIntyre are defending the indefensible. They initiated a quote “get Gerry Adams” quote project, roped in a gullible Boston College and (it) has now blown up in their faces. Moloney and McIntyre can point the finger of blame not at Boston College or the courts but squarely it belongs at themselves.” Now here he is: he’s not even calling it an Oral History project, he’s not calling it an academic project, he’s now called it “The Get Gerry Adams” Project. Which…(JM scoffs)

CT: It’s absolutely ridiculous. I would like to know how Boston College is gullible? Boston College, a law school, is gullible? Earlier in that article he referred to Moloney and McIntyre as being legally inexperienced. So what is it? Are they legally inexperienced? Or are they capable of roping in a gullible law school? It doesn’t even make sense what he’s saying and it’s very dangerous to be playing at that; to be doing that kind of mixing, talking about stuff that — he hasn’t even bothered to talk to Ed Moloney or Anthony McIntyre. He’s taking hearsay, he’s taking things that are incorrect and he’s making things…up…frankly.

SB: Carrie, the subpoena from the Justice Department to Boston College calls for every and any interview and record that might have anything to do with the killing of Jean McConville. Now, if that happens, there could well be with many, many former Irish Republicans turned over against the agreement that was originally given to them, how would that put you and your husband in danger if many people feel that were in fact, turned into informers?

CT: When the governments criminalize History in this manner, and if our legal battle does not win, and if common sense, frankly, doesn’t prevail, (while) it’s an immediate issue for me, personally, but it is a bigger issue…the governments involved, all the governments involved, need to sit back and say: what actually is happening? And they’re doing that by questioning the decommissioning papers having been deposited in the same library.

When they criminalize History and turn it into criminal evidence, combined with the allegations that Anthony and the project participants are informers, that makes it extremely dangerous.

We live with the constant fear now that something’s going to come through the window, somebody’s going to come through that door and it’s “open season” on Anthony and it’s “open season” on people they have speculated about participating in this project. It’s a really dangerous time. It’s dangerous for the Loyalist participants, too who are, in some ways, more at risk because, as we’ve seen, as in the Bobby Moffett killing, they are quicker to the trigger in some cases. It’s a very, very bad move by the governments involved to have even contemplated doing this because this can lead to serious problems with the peace process, both on the ground and in the political arena.

JM: You’re listening to Radio Free Eireann and we’re speaking with Carrie McIntyre, whose husband is Anthony McIntyre. They have a website that both of them write for called The Pensive Quill. So if you just type that in you’ll come up with the blog. And also, our own Brian Mor has a lot of his artwork…and his political cartoons are on that. Now, Carrie, I know you need help and we’re hoping to have you in the studio here at WBAI next week. What can people do to help you, before you even get over? And when are you coming over and who do you hope to meet? We’ve got about three or four minutes.

CT: I’m coming over next week and I will be meeting with Representative King and Senator Lugar’s office in DC. Any other meetings that people can secure for me would be of great help and they can contact us through The Pensive Quill website or through the bostoncollegsubpoena.wordpress.com website to help arrange these political meetings. I will be in New York as well. I will be with the AOH on the 22nd. If there’s any meetings that people are having between the 19th and the 22nd, I’ll be more than happy to come and meet people and explain the background and to talk to people. I will talk to anybody. I will meet with anybody. I don’t care who they are. If they can help, I will meet. Because this is something that is extremely dangerous to the peace process and to people. Anything that people can do to help I would be very, very appreciative of.

JM: Has Anthony even bothered to try for a visa? Or has he just given up completely to even try to get into this country?

CT: We previously had tried to get him in a few years ago when I had gone home to visit family. They had basically told us it’s a 50-50, sort of a crap shoot; the politics can go against him and the politics can go for him. But unfortunately, the politics tend to go against him. It may come to the point where we are going to have to move to The States, which is a huge upheaval, as (I’m sure) people can imagine. And I don’t know how that would even can be possible because he is barred.

JM: Bernie, do you want to jump in?

BM: As Carrie said: if there’s anybody out there who can give Carrie some help you can get in touch with The Pensive Quill because this is really, really needed at this time, especially with the way the Obama Administration is heading right now.

JM: Carrie, we thank you for coming on and we hope to have you up here in the studios. I know you’re going out to Long Island to meet Timmy Miles I think next weekend at an AOH function out in Long Island. Are you hoping to use political influence to stop our government from handing over these tapes to the British government?

CT: Absolutely. Absolutely. Because I do believe that on a number of levels it’s in the US interest to protect politically sensitive documents that are held at not only in Boston College but in universities across America. This is a foolish, insane move by the Department of Justice. The arguments that the US Attorney has been making about academic embargoes being worthless has serious implications for the United States government and its foreign policy. There are conflict zones from around the world that deposit their papers at universities across America and this can cause huge problems, as you can imagine, as it’s causing in Ireland right now.

JM: Alright, thank you, Carrie.

(Interview ends)