Conflicts in Ireland are topic of talk at AOH

Conflicts in Ireland are topic of talk at AOH
By William Kenny
Northeast Times Star

Carrie McIntyre, the wife of author and former Irish Republican Army member Dr. Anthony McIntyre, will speak about her husband’s controversial Belfast Oral History Project on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m., the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 87, 2171 Wakeling St.

The program is free and open to the public.

From 2001 to ’06, McIntyre and Irish journalist Ed Moloney conducted interviews with many former Irish Republican and British Unionist paramilitaries who were involved in armed conflict in Northern Ireland during 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. The conflict, known as The Troubles, ended in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement.

McIntyre and Moloney collaborated with Boston College on the project. The recorded interviews were archived at BC’s Burns Library. McIntyre and Moloney assured wary interview subjects that their individual tapes would be made public only upon their deaths.

Last year, authorities in Northern Ireland, seeking to investigate unsolved crimes related to the conflict, requested that the U.S. government obtain the tapes from Boston College and surrender them under the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain, of which Northern Ireland is a constituent nation.

The U.S. Justice Department has subpoenaed BC for the interviews. The college has petitioned federal courts to block the subpoena. Moloney and McIntyre have filed suit to intervene in the case as individuals. BC has been permitted to withhold the tapes pending appeals.

McIntyre and Moloney have argued that releasing the tapes to Northern Irish authorities would jeopardize the fragile peace there and contradict the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Releasing the tapes also could jeopardize future U.S. academic research into controversial political subjects, they have argued. ••