Sinn Fein councillor brands Boston College archive a ‘touting programme’ on Twitter

Sinn Fein councillor brands Boston College archive a ‘touting programme’ on Twitter
Derry Journal
28 March 2014

A former Mayor of Derry has branded an archive of interviews with ex-paramilitaries as a “touting programme.”

Sinn Fein’s Kevin Campbell made his comments on social media website, Twitter.

It’s believed his remarks refer to an oral history archive which includes interviews in which former paramilitaries gave details of their role in the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The Boston College tapes are a series of candid, confessional interviews with former loyalist and republican paramilitaries, designed to be an oral history of the Troubles.

The paramilitaries were told the tapes would only be made public after their deaths. However, after a series of court cases in the United States, some of the content has been handed over to the authorities.

An ongoing court case against a well known Belfast republican is believed to be based on an interview he allegedly gave to researchers at Boston College in the US.

Ivor Bell (77) was arrested at his home last week by police investigating the 1972 abduction and murder of Belfast mother-of-ten Jean McConville.

In his Twitter post, Councillor Campbell wrote: “It seems Ivor Bell, according to the papers, is the creator of his own misfortune thanks to big Mackers and his touting programme.”

Former IRA volunteer-turned-writer Anthony McIntyre, who carried out interviews for the oral history project, has criticised Colr. Campbell’s remarks.

Writing on his own website, Mr. McIntyre says: “As Derry’s former first citizen, exactly what advice does Mr Campbell have for people who may be in possession of information pertaining to the circumstances surrounding the death of Jean McConville or other IRA activity carried out prior to the Good Friday Agreement?”

He also accuses the former Mayor of being a “member of a party that openly advocates providing information on republicans at odds with the Sinn Fein strategy.”

There was no comment from either Councillor Campbell or his party when contacted on the matter by the ‘Journal’ yesterday.