Tick-tock, Your Time is Up

Tick-tock, your time is up
Former IRA man fears for his family as loyalists warn him to look under his car for bombs
Suzanne Breen
Irish Daily Mail
Thursday, July 5, 2012

A former IRA man is today taking unprecedented legal action in a Belfast court, claiming his life is at risk from republicans.

Lawyers for Anthony McIntyre will argue that he will be in imminent danger from his former comrades if the Police Service of Northern Ireland is given tapes relating to a 1972 murder.

Mr McIntyre — originally from Belfast but now living in Drogheda, Co. Louth — served 18 years in jail for IRA activities. “Myself, my wife and my two young children already take security precautions,” he said.

McIntyre’s American wife, Carrie Twomey, has received internet death threats. One loyalist wrote on Twitter, “Your time to check under your car”. Another wrote, “tick-tock, tick-tock, Carrie Twomey”. The threats have been reported to the gardaí.

“We live with fear from so many quarters, day in, day out,” said Ms Twomey.

“Every morning, I check the garden and under the car,” Mr McIntyre said. “My children aren’t allowed to answer the door and they’ve been ordered not to pick up anything in the garden in case it’s a pipe bomb. It’s a terrible way to live.”

In December, 1972 West Belfast mother-of-ten Jean McConville was abducted, killed and secretly buried by the IRA for allegedly being an informer.

As a researcher for an oral history project on the Troubles for Boston College in the US, Mr McIntyre interviewed 26 republicans about their past activities. They spoke without the approval of the IRA leadership.

Two — ex Belfast Brigade commander Brendan Hughes, and former Old Bailey bomber, Dolours Price — alleged that Gerry Adams ordered Mrs McConville’s death, a claim Mr Adams denies. Six other interviewees also referred to the murder.

They had been promised the tapes wouldn’t be released until after their deaths. Last year, the PSNI sought access to the tapes, which were stored at Boston College.

A US judge ordered the college to hand over the material but as an appeal decision looms, the legal battle has now moved across the Atlantic.

In Belfast High Court, Mr McIntyre today will seek leave to apply for a judicial review to stop the PSNI pursuing the tapes.

His lawyer, Kevin Winters, said: “I’m anticipating that the imminent US ruling will be in the PSNI’s favour. The turnaround period could be very quick with the tapes in police hands in days. The real and immediate threat to my client’s life would then increase significantly.”

Winters will argue that Mr McIntyre’s right to life — under Article Two of the European Convention on Human Rights and the 1998 Northern Ireland Human Rights Act — is being infringed.

The court will weigh Mr McIntyre’s right to life against the right of detectives investigating Mrs McConville’s murder to gather evidence.

A former senior ex-Provisional publicly branded Mr McIntyre ‘an informer’ for breaking the IRA’s code of secrecy in the Boston project. In his affidavit to the court, Mr McIntyre states how another leading ex-IRA man, Bobby Storey, told republicans never to breach the Provos’ ‘code of honour’.

The affidavit also includes a newspaper article where republicans threaten Mr McIntyre with the same fate as Eamon Collins, who was beaten to death in 1999 after penning his IRA memoirs.

The republicans stated that Mr McIntyre could be stabbed or knocked down by a car with his death made to look like an accident.

Mr McIntyre’s interview with Hughes — who accused Gerry Adams of ordering Mrs McConville’s murder — was published after Hughes’ death in February 2008, in the Voices from the Grave book by Ed Moloney.

Mr McIntyre revealed that the day after the book was published in March 2010 the home and car of his neighbour in Drogheda was attacked in a case of mistaken identity. Both the house and vehicle were smeared with animal and human excrement.