Ex-IRA man interviewed by Boston College investigated by PSNI
Anthony McIntyre faces criminal inquiry over six alleged offences, court hears
The Irish Times
Tue, Jun 7, 2016
A former IRA man interviewed for a US university project is being investigated in connection with six alleged offences, the High Court in Belfast has heard.
Anthony McIntyre is taking legal action in a bid to stop the PSNI and Public Prosecution Service gaining access to his tapes from Boston College.
Senior judges were told he has now been provided with a copy of international letter requesting the recordings – but in a redacted form setting out no details of the suspected crimes.
Lawyers for the PSNI and prosecuting authorities may now seek formal confidentiality through Public Interest Immunity (PII) steps amid fears that full disclosure could compromise the criminal investigation.
Mr McIntyre, who is from Belfast but now lives in Drogheda, Co Louth, was one of the main researchers in the major project to compile an oral history of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Dozens of loyalists and republicans provided testimonies to Boston College on the understanding their account would only be made public after they died.
But those assurances were dealt a blow when legal battles resulted in police securing transcripts and tapes of interviews given by former IRA woman Dolours Price and high-profile loyalist Winston “Winkie” Rea.
Mr Rea (65), from Groomsport, Co Down, appeared before a court on Monday charged with the murders of two Catholic workmen in Belfast more than 25 years ago.
The authorities now want access to Mr McIntyre’s recorded recollection of his own IRA activities.
A subpoena seeking copies of his interviews has been served on Boston College by the British government.
The move involves an International Letter of Request (ILOR) setting out alleged offences being investigated.
Mr McIntyre’s lawyers have issued judicial review proceedings against the PSNI and PPS for issuing the ILOR.
They claim police are engaged in a “fishing expedition” and insist the recordings of his activities only contain details of crimes for which he has already served a prison sentence.
Following submissions, the case was adjourned to next week for a further review.