Supreme Court Rejects Belfast Project Appeal
By Eleanor Hildebrandt
The Heights – Independent Student Newspaper of Boston College
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Editor’s Note: This story is part of an ongoing series about the subpoenas of the Belfast Project.
On Monday, Apr. 15, the United States Supreme Court denied the appeal made by Belfast Project Director Ed Moloney and Belfast Project researcher and former IRA member Anthony McIntyre in an effort to prevent the recordings of interviews with former IRA member Dolours Price from being handed over to the Police Services of Northern Ireland.
Last Friday, Apr. 12, Senator Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged Secretary of State John Kerry in a memo to “raise the potential political implications” of the UK’s request for the tapes, arguing that sharing the material “could have the effect of re-opening fresh wounds and threatening the success of the Good Friday Accords.”
The PSNI will now be granted access to Price’s recordings. Price, who died in January at age 61, revealed in a 2010 interview with The Irish News that the interviews she gave for the Belfast Project contained information about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville, an Irish widow and mother of 10.
In January, following Price’s death, the University filed to close the case pertaining to the Price tapes. A separate appeal by BC, related to seven other tapes that Judge William G. Young reviewed and found to be related to the Jean McConville murder, remains in process.
“Boston College was not a party in today’s Supreme Court decision,” said University Spokesman Jack Dunn on Monday. “We chose not to appeal the district court’s ruling on the first subpoena involving Delours Price’s interview, because we felt there was no grounds for appeal. Our focus remains on our appeal of [Judge William Young’s] ruling regarding the second set of subpoenas, which remains before the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Our strategy remains to seek legal recourse through the courts, while also pursuing diplomatic resolution through appropriate channels.”
Moloney and McIntyre posted a press release about the Supreme Court decision on Monday. “We began this fight almost exactly two years ago and all along the campaign has run on two tracks, one legal, the other political. The legal track has almost come to an end but the political campaign continues,” the release read. “All of those involved in this campaign can be assured that it is not over yet.”