Boston and Belfast Appeals Made


As Boston College’s appeal to limit the handover of interviews from its Belfast Project IRA archive begins in front of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston tomorrow (Fri, EST), lawyers for researchers Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre will be separately applying to courts in Belfast and Boston to stay the handover of interviews given by the former IRA activist, Dolours Price.

In Belfast, solicitor Kevin Winters will be seeking a High Court injunction tomorrow morning (Fri, 10:00 a.m. GMT) preventing the PSNI from accessing any interviews that may be handed over by the US authorities prior to a hearing for a Judicial Review of the PSNI subpoenas which were served on Boston College via the United States Department of Justice. The application for a Judicial Review is scheduled to be heard on September 14th.

In Boston, attorneys Eamonn Dornan and JJ Cotter have filed a petition to the First Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a stay on the handover of the Price interviews as well as those that are the subject of Friday’s appeal by Boston College, until the Supreme Court considers a bid to hear the case, which has huge constitutional, legal and political consequences, in front of America’s highest court.

The Crown Solicitor’s Office in Belfast rejected a request by Mr Winters to impose a voluntary stay on the interviews saying: “The challenges to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in the United States have currently delayed this investigation by almost 2 years.” The US Attorney’s Office in Boston has similarly rejected any idea of extending the stay and may file its own motion seeking the immediate handover of the materials.

Commenting on this, former Belfast Project Director Ed Moloney said: “Both sets of legal authorities are complaining about the delay caused by our legal challenge. Since Mrs McConville was killed in 1972 and it was not until the mid-1990’s that her disappearance was even classified as a murder by the police in Northern Ireland, it ill behooves anyone in legal authority to complain about delays”.