IRA tapes row back in US court

IRA tapes row back in US court
Published Wednesday, 04 April 2012

A federal appeals court in America will hear arguments on Wednesday over whether the PSNI can seize interviews given by ex-IRA members to Boston College.

The interviews with former Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries were conducted as part of the college’s oral history project which began in 2001.

They were recorded on condition that they would not be published until those involved were dead.

The PSNI want the transcripts of an interview given by former IRA prisoner Dolours Price in which she is understood to have discussed the 1972 disappearance and killing of Jean McConville. She gave the interview to Republican writer Anthony McIntyre.

Author and researcher Ed Moloney, whose discussions with the late Brendan Hughes and David Ervine formed his book Voices from the Grave, said the interviews were only carried out on the basis that it was legally safe, and the subjects had a “pledge of confidentiality [that] is utterly non-negotiable”.

Speaking to UTV in January, he said: “We’re reassuring them that if there is any attempt to groom any of us into any sort of criminal process by the PSNI, or whoever is behind this, then they can go and knock on other doors because they’re going to get no satisfaction and no joy from us.

“Our cooperation with the authorities on this will be non-existent and zero,” he added.

Mr Moloney said the action taken by the PSNI has “destroyed all possibility now of any truth-telling process”.

“There is no way that anyone with sane mind is going to take part in any sort of process of truth recovery about the past while the PSNI are behaving like this.”