Conflicts in Ireland are topic of talk at AOH

Conflicts in Ireland are topic of talk at AOH
By William Kenny
Northeast Times Star

Carrie McIntyre, the wife of author and former Irish Republican Army member Dr. Anthony McIntyre, will speak about her husband’s controversial Belfast Oral History Project on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m., the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 87, 2171 Wakeling St.

The program is free and open to the public.

From 2001 to ’06, McIntyre and Irish journalist Ed Moloney conducted interviews with many former Irish Republican and British Unionist paramilitaries who were involved in armed conflict in Northern Ireland during 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. The conflict, known as The Troubles, ended in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement.

McIntyre and Moloney collaborated with Boston College on the project. The recorded interviews were archived at BC’s Burns Library. McIntyre and Moloney assured wary interview subjects that their individual tapes would be made public only upon their deaths.

Last year, authorities in Northern Ireland, seeking to investigate unsolved crimes related to the conflict, requested that the U.S. government obtain the tapes from Boston College and surrender them under the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain, of which Northern Ireland is a constituent nation.

The U.S. Justice Department has subpoenaed BC for the interviews. The college has petitioned federal courts to block the subpoena. Moloney and McIntyre have filed suit to intervene in the case as individuals. BC has been permitted to withhold the tapes pending appeals.

McIntyre and Moloney have argued that releasing the tapes to Northern Irish authorities would jeopardize the fragile peace there and contradict the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Releasing the tapes also could jeopardize future U.S. academic research into controversial political subjects, they have argued. ••

BC subpoenas are legally dumb and dumber

BC subpoenas are legally dumb and dumber
Irish Echo
MARCH 14TH, 2012

Slowly, but inexorably, the penny is dropping, both here in the United States as well as back in Ireland.

The Boston College subpoenas seeking access to oral history interviews with former IRA activists on behalf of the police in Northern Ireland are about the dumbest things that have ever happened in the long relationship between the United States, Britain and Ireland.

The difficulty is not how to describe why they are so dumb, but in counting the ways in which they are so dumb.

First of all, this is not the way in which to heal a conflict like that in the North of Ireland.

Over 3,000 people died and tens of thousands were scarred, physically and mentally, by a war that was undoubtedly one of the longest and most violent, if not the most violent in Irish history.

But the war has now ended, peace reigns and there is a desperate need for dealing with the past in a way that solidifies that peace and ensures an untroubled future.

The British have chosen a way that does the opposite. The Boston College subpoenas symbolize an approach to this issue based on revenge and the view that alleged combatants in that war should be dragged before the courts, convicted and jailed.

To do this, they created a special police unit, the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), put it under the control of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and authorized it to dig up evidence to support criminal prosecutions.

The emphasis in this approach is on retribution and punishment. Yet anyone who has had dealings with victims of the violence in Northern Ireland knows full well that most just want to know what happened to their loved ones. Who killed their father, brother, son, mother, sister, wife? Why did they do it, and did their loved one suffer?

There are exceptions of course but most I have had dealings with seek the truth, not revenge, and I strongly suspect they are in the majority.

What they want most of all is a proper truth recovery process. South Africa provided one model, a truth and reconciliation commission in which perpetrators were offered an amnesty in return for full candor about their deeds.

They could have chosen the British version and opted to scratch away at barely closed wounds but did not, knowing that to do so would mean that South Africa could never put the past behind it, that the past would continue to haunt the present and the future with catastrophic consequences for all South Africans.

The second way in which the Boston College subpoenas are dumb is because they are so politically stupid. Ostensibly, the subpoenas are in pursuit of the perpetrators of the murder of Jean McConville, but anyone who is familiar with the case knows that it is really about getting Gerry Adams who is alleged to have given the order to “disappear” Mrs McConville, an accused spy for the British Army.

Whatever one may think of Gerry Adams and his misguided efforts to deny any past association with the IRA, the reality is that Northern Ireland would not now be enjoying peace without his efforts.

He may have been less than straightforward with his IRA comrades; he may even have been duplicitous and furtive in his dealings with them, or have exaggerated the political benefits of the Good Friday Agreement, but the stark truth is that he did bring this awful war, this endless bloodshed, to an end. I doubt that anyone else could have.

Yet the logic of the Boston College subpoenas is to drag him before the criminal or civil courts and stain him with the McConville murder. So the architect of a peace process centered on compromise ends his political life arraigned or sued for murder courtesy of the same government with whom he compromised. And this is supposed to cement the peace in Northern Ireland?

What message does that send to IRA dissidents who have long accused Adams and his colleagues of naivety in their dealings with the British? What they will say is this: “You trusted the Brits, Gerry. You accepted their deal and their terms and now look what they are doing to you? Once they had you where they wanted you to be, they stuck the knife into you.”

And this is supposed to strengthen the peace in Northern Ireland? If this is the logic behind the Boston College subpoenas then truly the lunatics are now running the asylum.

There will be those, of course, who will say that if Gerry Adams did order Jean McConville’s “disappearance” then he deserves to be prosecuted. In a normal society, one ruled by a normal government, that would be a difficult argument to answer. But Northern Ireland is not, even with the peace process, a normal society and nowhere is this more evident than in the administration of justice.

The plain, undeniable fact is that there are double standards in the way justice is doled out in Northern Ireland.

As myself and researcher Anthony McIntyre were battling in the Boston courts against the PSNI subpoenas last fall, the British prime minister, David Cameron, summoned the family of slain Belfast attorney, Patrick Finucane to Downing Street. Finucane had been shot dead by loyalist gunmen in 1989 but it is now widely accepted that British intelligence and the police in Northern Ireland, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), had foreknowledge of the murder plot and allowed it to happen. Finucane was a legal thorn in their flesh and what better way to remove it than by way of loyalist bullets?

Such was the concern about this level of collusion in an attorney’s murder, not least here in the United States, that Cameron’s predecessor, Tony Blair, was obliged to announce that there would be a public inquiry into Pat Finucane’s slaying and we would all get to know just what part the RUC and British spooks had played in this dirty deed.

But Cameron’s summoning of the Finucane family was not to tell them of a date for the beginning of this inquiry, but to inform them that he was withdrawing Tony Blair’s promise. There would be no inquiry into Finucane’s death.

So those who say that the PSNI has a right to rummage through Boston College’s files for the names of the killers of Jean McConville must also justify the denial of that same right to Pat Finucane’s family to scour the files of MI5 and the RUC Special Branch for the names of those who colluded with his killers?

Pat Finucane was a high profile victim of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, but not so Patrick McCullough. Who is Patrick McCullough, I can almost hear the reader ask? Well, he was a 17-year-old Catholic boy, just starting his first job in life, when he was shot dead in a loyalist drive-by shooting near his North Belfast home.

Patrick died in June 1972, six months before Jean McConville was “disappeared” by the IRA. No-one has ever been held accountable for his killing and, unlike Jean McConville, there has been next to no publicity about his killing. He was his parents’ first-born and most loved child, the first of fifteen children when his life was suddenly and brutally ended. His mother and father never recovered from his death, and their loss was every bit as tragic and wrong as that suffered by Jean McConville’s family.

I learned about Patrick McCullough’s death from a poignant letter his younger brother, Fr. James McCullough, a member of the missionary Kiltegan Fathers, wrote recently to the Irish Times newspaper seeking an inquiry into official indifference towards his brother’s killing. I contacted the priest to talk about his experience.

When his brother was killed, the police never once visited the family home to tell them what was happening in the investigation. The only visit the family had from the security forces was shortly after the funeral when their home was raided by the British army. Fr. McCullough suspects that their purpose was to plant weapons in the home so as to justify his brother’s murder.

When the British government set up the Historical Enquiries Team, Fr. McCullough wrote to the then PSNI Chef Constable, Sir Hugh Orde. His letter was forwarded to the HET which wrote to him saying they would be in touch. That was in 2006. Since then, neither Fr. McCullough nor any of his family have heard a word from the HET or the PSNI. He described his treatment at the hands of the PSNI and the HET as “abysmal.”

The killers of Patrick McCullough are well known. An investigation in 2003 by the Belfast newspaper, the Irish News, discovered their identity while noting that no-one had ever been arrested or charged. Recently, the reporter who wrote the story confirmed to me that neither the HET, nor the PSNI, had ever contacted her to discover their names. There have been no subpoenas for Patrick McCullough.

The silence from the police lasted until Fr. McCullough’s letter appeared in the Irish Times. Then, suddenly, he was phoned by an HET investigator who offered a meeting. When Fr. McCullough complained about the indifference shown by the RUC towards his brother, the HET man replied, according to Fr. McCullough: “……that he had never experienced sectarianism in the RUC or PSNI.”

On the HET’s promotional video, the unit’s commander, former Scotland Yard detective Dave Cox, addressed the issue of how the HET dealt with allegations of police collusion in murders in this way: “Most times we are able to actually answer and dispel those worries.”

In other words, it never really happened.

This is the last and most compelling reason why the Boston College subpoenas are not only dumb, but morally wrong. The HET is not a fit and proper body to deal with Northern Ireland’s past because it operates double standards. And Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice should not be helping these people do their dirty work in Boston.

It is up to Irish America to make sure Holder gets that message.

Leaders’ BC appeal in advance of Cameron visit

Leaders’ BC appeal in advance of Cameron visit
Irish Echo
MARCH 7TH, 2012

Three of the most prominent Irish-American organizations have issued a joint statement on the Boston College archive case in advance of next week’s meeting in Washington between President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The three, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Brehon Law Society and Irish American Unity Conference, called for the withdrawal of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s request for records held in the Burns Library of Boston College.

“The records are sought as part of a smear campaign against Irish TD Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin’s campaign in the most recent Irish general election,” said a statement accompanying the appeal.

In addition to a joint statement, the three signatories to the appeal expressed their own positions on an issue that has led to significant debate and multiple court hearings.
National President of the AOH, Seamus Boyle, stated: “In this post-conflict period we would expect Prime Minister Cameron to correct this mistake by withdrawing an invalid request for records which could not be part of a criminal prosecution and which was more likely aimed at interfering politically in Ireland’s election process.”

Jim Cullen of the Brehon Law Society stated: “While rogue elements of the RUC embarrass Attorney General Holder with this mischievous request for academic research we hope the president queries Mr. Cameron’s refusal to provide the promised public inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Patrick Finucane by British security forces, and the failure of Britain to fully respond to the Irish governments request for information about the British Army’s role in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, which led to the largest loss of life during the decades of conflict in Northern Ireland.”

Cullen’s reference to the RUC, the PSNI’s predecessor, is a reflection of a widely held view that former RUC officers now in the PSNI are behind the efforts to lay hands of archived files at Boston College related to the Northern Ireland Troubles.

For his part, Thomas Burke, National President of the IAUC concluded: “When Prime Minister Cameron acknowledged Britain’s 40 years of lying about Bloody Sunday murders we thought a new day had dawned. Now all we can ask is: how long must America turn a blind eye to this history of violence and deceit in Ireland?”

The three leaders said they were adding their voices to the statement from Senator John Kerry, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations, asking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to persuade the British government to revoke the archives request “so that we can continue the process in Ireland of building a true peace based on justice and respect for the rule of law.”

In their joint statement the three leaders said: “We are united in our belief that the Attorney General of the United States, by his issuance of subpoenas to Boston College, has misused and undermined the primary purpose of the U.S.-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty ie. the prompt exchange of information in aid of criminal prosecution of international drug trafficking and related money laundering.

Moreover, the Attorney General failed to first determine if the requested data was part of a bona fide criminal prosecution. It is not. He failed to first determine if by granting this request the Irish peace process could be imperiled. It will be. He failed to first examine the concerns of U.S. Senators for the misuse of the U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty. Their concerns were justified.

“We urge the Attorney General to refuse the request of the UK as an improper use of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and to work with the Senate to prevent its further abuse, especially in the related areas of academic inquiry, personal privacy and protection of constitutional freedoms raised by the litigation.

Irish America United: Statement of Coalition

Ancient Order of Hibernians • Brehon Law Society • Irish American Unity Conference

We are united in our belief that the Attorney General of the United States, by his issuance of subpoenas to Boston College, has misused and undermined the primary purpose of the US-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, i. e., the prompt exchange of information in aid of criminal prosecution of international drug trafficking and related money laundering.

Moreover, the Attorney General failed to first determine if the requested data was part of a bona fide criminal prosecution.

It is not.

He failed to first determine if by granting this request the Irish peace process could be imperiled.

It will be.

He failed to first examine the concerns of U. S. Senators for the misuse of the US-UK Extradition Treaty.

Their concerns were justified.

We urge the Attorney General to refuse the request of the UK as an improper use of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and to work with the Senate to prevent its further abuse, especially in the related areas of academic inquiry, personal privacy and protection of constitutional freedoms raised by the litigation.

Seamus Boyle
National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians

Robert Dunne
Brehon Law Society

Thomas J. Burke Jr.
National President
Irish American Unity Conference

CAMERON-OBAMA Talks Must Address UK Political Fishing Expedition in Boston College Archives: Irish American Groups

Washington, D. C., Philadelphia, & New York City
March 6th

Three major Irish-American groups today issued a statement prior to the meeting between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron. They appealed for the withdrawal of the British request for records held in the Burns Library of Boston College. The records are sought as part of a smear campaign against Irish TD Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein’s campaign in the most recent Irish General Election.

National President of the AOH Seamus Boyle stated: “In this post-conflict period we would expect Prime Minister Cameron to correct this mistake by withdrawing an invalid request for records which could not be part of a criminal prosecution and which was more likely aimed at interfering politically in Ireland’s election process.”

“While rogue elements of the RUC embarrass Attorney General Holder with this mischievous request for academic research,” stated Jim Cullen of the Brehon Law Society, “we hope the President queries Mr. Cameron’s refusal to provide the promised public inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Patrick Finucane by British security forces and the failure of Britain to fully respond to the Irish governments request for information about the British Army’s role in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, which led to the largest loss of life during the decades of conflict in Northern Ireland.”

Thomas Burke, National President of the IAUC concluded: “When Prime Minister Cameron acknowledged Britain’s 40 years of lying about Bloody Sunday murders we thought a new day had dawned. Now all we can ask is: How long must America turn a blind eye to this history of violence and deceit in Ireland?”

The leaders joined their appeal with Senator Kerry, the Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations, in asking Secretary of State Clinton to persuade the British government to revoke this request so that we can continue the process in Ireland of building a true peace based on justice and respect for the rule of law.


Washington DC

It wouldn’t be a glorious St. Patrick’s Day without a political donnybrook and this year’s involves an old nemesis at center stage in the White House. U. K. Prime Minister David Cameron is in town with a shopping list that includes securing records held from Boston College’s Irish archives.

Irish American groups are irate with Attorney General Holder who issued a sealed subpoena to get confidential tapes for the British. That’s right. The man whose plate, politically speaking, includes the Fast and Furious scandal, suing States for crackdown on illegal immigrants, failure to defend the Defense of Marriage Act and giving a wink and nod to the British release of the Pan Am bomber has now managed to annoy Senator John Kerry, Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations. He was a key vote in 2006 for the ratification of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, intended for drug money laundering prosecutions, which Britain is now using to extract records from Boston College.

The Senator smells a rat. First, the request emanated from the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the most lawless and political police force in Europe and was NOT drug related. Second, a disgruntled former RUC officer and MI-5 liaison seeking revenge sought the records about a 1972 killing of a British spy, months after the British Army’s Bloody Sunday rampage. The records purportedly implicate Gerry Adams, an architect of the 1998 peace pact. But why use this Treaty and why go to the U. S. when the best evidence would be the sworn testimony of the interviewee who lives in Ireland? The British tried it the easy way by slipping the request past the clueless Holder. Why? So Adams could be politically smeared in time for the 2011 Irish General Elections. Dare we note the Sinn Fein party platform was incandescent with rhetoric about payments to British banks for the crisis bailout?

The United States, much to British dismay, was instrumental in crafting the 1998 Agreement which silenced the arms and demilitarized the six counties of Ireland. Britain since then seems determined to ignore key provisions or undermine the spirit of the accord. President Obama said little of the peace process during his 48 hour stopover in Ireland last year but he has heard an earful since of fears that Holder’s subpoena of Boston College records makes the U. S. complicit in Britain’s malicious mischief. Consider Cameron’s first two years:

• Britain finally stops lying about Bloody Sunday but holds no one accountable for 13 murders and the awards for slaughter stand;

• Cameron refuses the promised public inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Patrick Finucane admittedly by British ‘security’ forces;

• the British refuse to provide information to the Irish government about the British Army role in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, the conflicts largest loss of life; and

• political prisoners Gerry McGeough and Marian Price are locked up in solitary in ill health and law and logic are twisted to keep them mysteriously detained.

President Obama declared March Irish-American Heritage month so what better time to remind the British Prime Minister of America’s commitment to the Irish peace process founded on the American values of truth, justice and the rule of law. Senator Kerry has his questions but it remains to be seen if the President does. Either way Mr. Cameron has a lot of explaining to do to Irish Americans.

Irish Radio Network, USA: Interview with Carrie Twomey

Irish Radio Network, USA – Adrian Flannelly Show
January 21, 2012

The Saga of the Boston College Belfast Oral History Project continues:
Carrie Twomey is the US citizen wife of Dr. Anthony McIntyre, former IRA volunteer and ex-prisoner who spent 18 years in Long Kesh, 4 years on the blanket and no wash/no work protests which led to the hunger strikes of the 80s. He then completed a PhD at Queens upon release from prison. Anthony McIntyre is the main researcher of the Oral History project at Boston College. He and his family are under death threat and the Northern Ireland Peace process will be challenged, should the US Federal Court subpoenaed confidential tapes be turned over to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Listen to the archived show here:


Adrian Flannelly (AF) interviews Carrie Twomey (CT) about the subpoenas served on Boston College to obtain the archive known as The Belfast Project.

Adrian Flannelly (AF): Friends, you’re listening to Irish Radio Network USA. My guest is Carrie McIntyre, wife of Dr. Anthony McIntyre, former IRA Volunteer and ex-prisoner. Anthony McIntyre spent eighteen years in Long Kesh, four years on the blanket and he was very much was considered to be one of the patriots of Northern Ireland. And his wife, before we go into it much further, we’d like to point out that his wife, who is with us today, Carrie, is an American citizen, the mother of two American citizens. And somebody who is here very specifically at this point. You know, the Boston College, the tapes, the Oral History project of Boston College, has had many twists and turns and it is obviously very timely that you are here with us today because we have heard the manifestations, the positions of the three governments, Northern Ireland, the southern Ireland government, our own United States, Washington, State Department, the waters are very muddied. But this is not a casual visit of yours. You’re here very specifically because all of this is coming to a head Two hearings which will determine for history how a project, which everybody agrees was a great idea, has now turned into a Loch Ness monster. First of all you’re welcomed and I would be delighted if you’d share with us your side of the story, which to date, it looks like somehow there is a massive screw-up here; that fingers are pointing at Anthony McIntyre, they’re pointing at Ed Moloney, the journalist, who was a guest of ours on the program some time ago. It would appear though that you are not and have had not much of a voice in explaining how this is affecting you, as an American citizen, and your kids and your husband. Perhaps you will just maybe give us capsule, first of all, of your understanding of what brought about the Oral History program and what role your husband played in all of this.

Carrie Twomey (CT): Thank you very much, Adrian, for having me on the program. As you explained, this isn’t a casual here visit to The States, to America. I’m here specifically because I am extremely concerned for the safety of my family. As you noted, I’m an American citizen, as are my two children. And I have been lobbying in DC, meeting with Congress people, to protest this action which directly places our lives in danger. The Oral History project, as you noted, is a very valuable resource, not alone for Irish history, but for people that are studying conflict zones around the world and seeking to understand how people get involved in conflict and how to learn from the mistakes of the past. It’s a terrible shame that this action is having such a chilling effect on people being able to coming forward.

This project was started because Boston College had commissioned this and they had given cast iron guarantees of confidentiality until participants had either died or had given expressed written permission for these records to be released. This was something that Boston College was always very forthright [about]; that the confidentiality was something that they would protect. There has been some waters muddied, as you say, and fingers pointed, but from our position Boston College was always clear: that it was a tabernacle. They had agreed with Ed Moloney, they would draw up contracts guaranteeing to the extent of American law that the interviews would be kept confidential. And then they drew up those contracts which they gave to each participant. And those contracts were very specific. And they said that the confidentiality was guaranteed until the death of the participant or written permission had be given by that person for the records to be released. Nowhere in the contract that they drew up, that they have with each individual participant in this project, did it say there was any caveat, that there was any possibility that these records could be released in any other conditions. Even in the preface of Voices From the Grave….

AF: Which is the book written by Ed Moloney.

CT: Sorry, I was just saying even in the book, the preface, the librarian and the professor that were in charge of this, had said, and it’s in the first paragraph, that Boston College were contractually obligated to protect the confidentiality.

AF: Now it would appear, hindsight being a great thing, that Boston College is now saying and maintaining, that it was made very clear, that they were obviously not superseding any US laws which would be subject to subpoena so they’re saying: “Well, we’ve kept our end of it. Obviously this is the tabernacle, this is what…as far as we knew…this is something but heck, if we get a subpoena from the Attorney General of the United States, that’s out of our hands.”

CT: Well, I totally disagree. If they get a subpoena they’re obligated to fight it. And they’re obligated to use all of their powers, and contacts, and every ounce of their ability that they have to fight it. They have an obligation, which they had given when they had given the promise of confidentiality, to protect it. And this area of the law is nebulous; it’s not fully defined. We’re having a case of first impressions going on right now. And, in fact, our lawyers were able to secure a Motion for Stay that has stopped this hand-over. So there is room to fight this. And Boston College has the resources and ability to fight it and they have not.

I am extremely angry at the way that they have rolled over on this. They’re just playing with people’s lives. They made a corporate decision, just like Penn State. And instead of doing the right thing, instead of fulfilling their duty of care, they made a corporate decision to protect their institution and protect their funding and throw people’s lives to the winds over it. And that is just morally wrong and it’s completely unethical and I’m extremely angry about their behaviour.

AF: There’s enough anger from all sides and I’ve tried to give this platform to those of varied and very strong opinions and I must say though that, from the beginning, I did think that the curious initiation of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the suspected rogue elements within that institution, that somewhere along the line, either somebody dropped the ball, somebody perhaps naively rubber stamped the request and even, we had the Secretary of State from Northern Ireland and when he was here he pretty much said: (paraphrasing Owen Patterson) “Well, we didn’t start it. This was something that happened. And obviously if you have a police investigation and if they’re to do their job well then that’s not for us to tell them how to do it and whatever.” Let’s talk about the rumour, let’s talk about your own reaction to those who say, that the release of those tapes could, in fact, bring down, demolish the peace process as we know it in Northern Ireland. Is that a common point of acceptance among all the varied now fighting groups, including…?

CT: Absolutely. Absolutely. The Good Friday Agreement effectively drew a line over the past and said pre-1998, we’re going to leave in the past where it belongs. More than ten years later, to start raking up the past, and start doing selective prosecutions, and start aiming to bring somebody like Gerry Adams in front of a criminal court or, as we suspect, in the Omagh style, bringing him in front of a civil court. It’s going to be hugely destabilising on the peace process. All three governments have invested in bringing Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein to the table and getting them into political power so that we could have peace; so that Nationalists and Republicans would have a voice in government. And then to turn around and put the leader of this party into the court is just madness! It will open up room. The Unionists can bring down the institutions. It will cause problems within Republicans ranks. We’ve already seen that the area is completely unstable. We had two bombs in Derry last night, with the horrible economy in Ireland, which leaves (us) with a lot of angry people that would be looking for somewhere to vent their anger. This is just complete madness to open up this can of worms to satisfy some rogue elements in the RUC that are still are in the HET. I mean, there’s a huge controversy going on right now with the amount of former RUC people that are being hired by a recruitment agency and filling the ranks of the PSNI.

AF: Somebody filled out the initial form. Somebody’s signature is on it. Do we know who that is?

CT: No we don’t. The subpoena was sealed. And this is one thing that we are seeking in DC: we want a Congressional hearing into finding out who approved this on both sides of the water. Who failed to ask the questions? Who failed to look at the political implications of this? Who failed to recognise the treaty aspects that relate to the Good Friday Agreement? Who did not consider the sense of the Senate when they passed the extradition treaty at the same time as the MLAT where the British government said we’re not looking at pre-1998 crimes? Who was the person that presented this as purely criminal, as a hot investigation, that needed to be solved immediately and did mention the fact that this was a crime that occurred in 1972 and had not been investigated by the police for forty years? Who is responsible for this? And who, basically, failed in their duty? Because a lot of people did fail in this duty and did not ask the right questions when this landed on their desk.

AF: We have seen a reversal in the very infamous Finucane case, which has been going on for more than twenty years. We saw something which was announced as the final decision from 10 Downing Street where the Finucane family, who had wanted and had asked for an independent investigation into the murder of Pat Finucane, the lawyer. We have seen and experienced first hand, and very recently, open and shut cases: (mimicking the Brits) “This is the way that it is. We are going to have our own investigation. We don’t particularly care that you and your supporters and that those who are interested in human rights and civil rights.. we don’t care about all of that. This is what we’re going to do….end of story.” And we see, that with appropriate pressure and much to the chagrin I am sure, of the British government, that they have backed down and said: (mimicking the Brits) “Okay, now we’re going to have..yes, we’ve re-thought it.” There are some cynics ho say wthat say somehow the coincidence of that decision being made this week as the eruption of and the significance of the Boston tapes that maybe there’s some connections there and maybe the issues of the Boston tapes which some would say well this is much ado about nothing because these are just the factions within the Northern Ireland peace process and, in fact, well… should Carrie McIntyre have a vested interest in the outcome of this?” But generally speaking, if we were to weigh, now the level of interest and the level of support for both cases here, the Finucane case and the reversal and this, this is something which is garnering much more interest than the hot potato that is and will be rolled out as the result of the release of the Oral History tapes at Boston College.

CT: Well, of course I have a vested interest in this. I have no problem admitting (that) up front. I do have a very vested and very personal interest in this because this will directly affect the safety of my family. However, it’s good that you bring up the Finucane case because it shows the British double standard at work. They are refusing to hand-over their papers on the Finucane case. As they are refusing to hand-over their papers on Dublin-Monaghan. Again, this is selective prosecution. This is selective investigation. This is selective truth. This is something where the wider society needs to be able to get to the truth so that rather than putting a chilling effect, which is what this subpoena is doing, on any future abilities to get people to tell their stories, this is putting a kibosh on it. But this is while the British state is protecting their own interest. Even Sammy Wilson, interestingly enough, when the House of Commons were discussing aspects of a truth commission, came out and said that he is very against the idea of subpoenas because of the danger to the British state that that poses.

He made the point, that in general, there are no records for the other organizations but there are records for security forces, and British military and the British state and they can be subpoenaed. And this sets a precedent that is not in the UK’s interest in that sense because people can then bring action against them. So this is insane for all governments involved. This is so destabilising. And American foreign policy? This completely goes against all the good work they have done in attempting to get peace in Northern Ireland. And in terms of America’s own self-interest: there are Oral Histories currently being collected from Iraq war veterans; from veterans of Afghanistan. When the US Attorney makes the argument there’s no such thing as an academic embargo, this is going to put American people in jeopardy as well. Nobody is thinking to the future. You have this knee-jerk, bigoted reaction from rogue RUC elements that are looking for vengeance or retribution pursuing this, they’re not looking beyond their nose on this. People who have common sense or in positions of responsibility, need to be acting in the interest of the wider picture.

AF: Your husband, Dr. Anthony McIntyre, how would you define his role in the establishment of the tapes, the Oral History tapes and Boston College? Can you walk us through that?

CT: My husband, as you noted his past, he spent eighteen years in Long Kesh, four years of that on the blanket and no-wash protest, which was not an easy thing to do or go through. He earned his degree, his first degree, while he was in prison and he completed a PhD upon release. He is one of the foremost experts on Irish Republicanism, modern Irish Republicanism. (quips) He doesn’t like it when I say that but, you know, I’m his wife, I’m entitled. He is academically trained and qualified; he is an historian, [and] he is a writer. He also has the IRA background which made him perfectly positioned to be able to compile an Oral History like this which is so unique and so valuable because of that. You have academics that come from either outside Ireland or who did not grow up in The Troubles or did not have a background such as his and their understanding and the questions that they would be asking are very different from what his experience and his academic training would allow him to be able to ask. And in addition to that, the answers that he would be given would be very different. It allows a more thorough and interesting probing of history which is what made this so incredibly valuable and so special for the future. And there was a reason that the confidentiality was not say [the same as], for example, the decommissioning papers, are in the same library under a thirty year embargo. The Oral History ones are until death. This is something that is so highly sensitive but so important for history. We would be so worse off without having these kind of Oral Histories combined.

AF: Explain to me why the terms of the contract which each of the participants for this Oral History, and this was just not from the Republican side this was from all those involved in the armed struggle in Northern Ireland, why did somebody not stand back from that in the beginning and say: “Wait a minute, if the Oral History of any of the participants can be and should be released at the death of the first participant, won’t that open up a whole mess?” that would invariably, even at a fairly naïve approach, when the first of those tapes are released wouldn’t that involve you, the safety of your family? Why wasn’t there an embargo on that for twenty years or thirty years or something?

CT: Well, Brendan Hughes and David Ervine are the only tapes that have been publicly released. And Brendan Hughes actually had wanted his released before he died but he was cautioned against it because of the safety of the rest of the people that had participated in the project.

AF: In hindsight, though, wouldn’t that kind of defeat the whole purpose? Why should the tapes be released upon their death if in fact…?

CT: Because part of the way that the confidentiality works is that the individual interviews are anonymous. They are anonymous until the death of the participant. So as long as the interviewees remain anonymous…up until the subpoena came and Boston completely rolled over and gave everything to the court, up until that point, it was not known how many people participated in this project; it could have been three, it could have been a hundred, nobody would have known. But Boston rolled over and gave everything to the court and now the specific details of that are known.

AF: Why would Brendan Hughes want to have his tapes released before his death or immediately upon his death?

CT: Upon his death. Because Brendan Hughes was somebody who was very, very strongly of the opinion that you should speak your conscience and you should speak your truth.

AF: What about the jeopardy level that that puts everybody else in?

CT: Because he was speaking his story. He wasn’t speaking anybody else’s story. And the other interviewees remained anonymous and, to a large extent, are still anonymous. So it was not putting theirs in jeopardy. The existence of the project was known, it was not widely known but it was known that this project existed before he died and then with the publication of it…it was known. It was a safety concern, yes. And in fact, my neighbours’ house was attacked with faeces on the date of the publication, we believe it was a mistake and they meant to get our house; their letter box, and their car, and their door was smeared with excrement. And there were threats made to my husband at the time of the publication which we were very concerned about. You can look on my affidavit and you’ll see the headline “You’re Dead!”, which was not comforting to see. My husband did not participate in any of the press of the time of the book for the concerns of safety. It’s a fine line to straddle because it is important. And I think Brendan Hughes was 100% right when he said if there’s something that you disagree with or if there’s something you believe in you need to speak out and follow your conscience. And that’s very much what that book was Brendan doing. And there are times you have to stand up and face risk. And this is part of why we’re fighting this case as hard as we are, too. We can’t do what Boston did and roll over. We have to stand up and face things and fight for what is right.

AF: But you’ve been down that road. You’ve had very prominent, good, reliable lawyers (I don’t know if you want to mention them by name or not) but you’ve had a great level of support from Irish-America and still it would appear that your case got very little attention paid to it by virtue of the over-all, the fact that Boston College didn’t link up with you and that your lawyers would not, that your lawyers went down a different road than Boston College that wound up to be counter-productive.

CT: Our lawyers have actually secured far more than Boston College has. Boston College tries to paint the fact that they had to give over everything to the Judge as some sort of victory; which is not a victory. Our lawyers, who we are very grateful to, Eamonn Dornan and Jim Cotter, they have presented an excellent argument. And we are fighting an admittedly uphill battle. But we are still in the ring and we are still fighting. And they were able to secure a Motion for Stay that stopped the hand-over. We are hopeful they’re going to be successful in this complaint that is going to be heard on Tuesday in Boston.

AF: On this Tuesday…

CT: On this Tuesday in Boston. And then the hearing on the Motion for Stay will be heard in March. So we’re still in with a fighting chance. And it is down to the good work that has been done by Eamonn Doran and Jim Cotter and those people in The Brehon Society, like Jim Cullen, who’ve been supporting [our case]; and the Irish-American Unity Conference, I mean, we have had a tremendous amount of support from Irish-America which we are so, so grateful for.

AF: Hey! The bottom line is: the tapes turned over to the courts, the courts adhering to the request, all of this goes back to Northern Ireland to the PSNI, most definitely it will result in another investigation involving Gerry Adams.

CT: This subpoena is specifically about the McConville case. And specifically about the allegations made that Gerry Adams ordered… (AF interrupts)

AF: Tell us about McConville.

CT: Jean McConville was the mother of ten who was abducted and murdered by the IRA for being an informer. And the problem for Gerry Adams is that he is alleged to have been the IRA Chief who ordered her disappearance. And specifically her disappearance because unlike most informers, she was “disappeared”. She was not left out on the road as a message or a warning to people. And that’s going to cause huge problems if this ever goes into a court for Gerry Adams. Especially with all his denials of having never been in the IRA. And those denials are something that do not set well with the rank and file grass roots. And it really didn’t set well with people like Brendan Hughes. It’s a very deep betrayal for people that followed Gerry Adams’ leadership in the IRA, followed his orders, for him to turn around and continue to deny ever having been in the IRA.

AF: You realise by that your saying this right now…you are, in fact, you’re feeding an element that says: Okay, obviously the the McIntyres and the Moloneys and so forth could care less about the fact that they’ve already, you’ve already taken sides, and that in fact nobody believes stronger than your good self, that Gerry Adams ordered that murder; that Ed Moloney has all but said that he believes that Gerry Adams was in that position. So therefore, those who might normally be very supportive of you and the real danger you are in, and many others, it’s not just you but many others, that obviously there are two factions that are there: you’re on one side and the Gerry Adams’ followers would be on the other.

CT: This is an historical project. This is a project of history not a project of fiction. I’m sorry but the fact that Adams was never in the IRA is a piece of fiction. What would be the point of creating an historical archive that was fictional? There would be no point. Niall O’Dowd had a piece in The Irish Echo last week which I found just…(AF interrupts)

AF: The Irish Voice.

CT: The Irish Voice, you’re right, I’m sorry. He had a piece in The Irish Voice which was just amazing because in one paragraph he says that Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre are legally inexperienced. And in the next paragraph he says that Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre were able to dupe the gullible Boston College. So what is it? Are these people legally inexperience, stupid, unintelligent or are they so legally experienced and so intelligent that they are able to dupe a law school into this? I mean this is just absolutely ridiculous…(AF interrupts)

AF: An internationally renown…

CT: Law School! That was the one that drew up the contracts. This is something that they do this all the time. I’m glad you sort of came back to this because the decommissioning papers that were put together under the Irish and UK law. And in Ireland and in the UK they have confidentiality laws that were written to protect these decommissioning papers. They were deposited in the same library, under the same librarians as the Oral History project and under similar conditions. The only difference being that there’s a thirty years embargo versus an until death embargo. Now, there’s a big problem: because there’s no such thing as an academic embargo according to the US Attorney. And the UK laws and the Irish laws that were written to protect the confidentiality of the decommissioning body are UK and Irish laws, they are not American laws. These papers are in American jurisdiction. These papers are under the same arguments that the US Attorney is now making saying that they’re not protected. So what is to stop people from following same path as the HET did and subpoenaing these papers?…(AF interrupts)

AF: What’s the HET?

CT: The Historical Enquiries Team, the arm of the PSNI that’s investigating the McConville case. What is to stop somebody like Jeffery Donaldson upsetting that apple cart and saying we want to get information about the weapons that were decommissioned. Okay, Micheál Martin, leader of Fianna Fáil, posed these same questions. He says there’s a huge problem with the integrity of Boston College; they’re obviously not willing to protect the material and he’s put it to the Minister of Justice, Alan Shatter: what are you going to so about this? What’s going to happen? And Alan Shatter has said we are prudently watching this, we’re okay with it but we’re keeping an eye on it. He says he doesn’t think it’s conceivable that the British would want to break this embargo and get…(AF interrupts)

AF: Somebody does.

CT: Well, here’s the thing: exactly! Boston College didn’t think it was conceivable that the British would want to get into the Oral History archive and here they are. But in terms of the decommissioning papers it doesn’t even have to be the British or the Irish. Say a victims’ group goes to somebody in Germany who was a victim of the IRA. And German citizens petition their government and the German government goes to the American government under the same treaty and puts the same arguments that the US Attorney is using right now and says we want access to the decommissioning papers to see if there is any relevant information about the weapons that were used in the attacks on German soil.

AF: Okay, so far we have not addressed and I would like you to address, where the real power and where the real strength is, and we have our own Attorney General in the United States could have put and “X” through this to begin with. We have obviously a Secretary of State, Senator Hillary Clinton and President Clinton, who invested a tremendous amount of their efforts and energies, the United States, there would not be, and I say this without fear of contradiction, there would not be a Good Friday Agreement, there would not be a Belfast Agreement, for those who would prefer to see it in that light, were it not for the United States, were it not for George Mitchell, Senator George Mitchell, were it nor for President Clinton and now Secretary of State Clinton. Why is it, that with that level of interest with all of those who have taken big chunks out of their lifetimes, out of their careers, to insure something as extraordinary, in the real sense, as the Good Friday Agreement, the peace process in Northern Ireland. How is it that we’re still messing around with what appears to be factions and nitpicking while something which could bring down and totally disrupt at best, and in fact, shatter the peace process in Northern Ireland? Why?

CT: This is why I’m asking for a Congressional hearing to be held enquiring into this. Did this happen? Why go against American foreign policy? You’re 100% right that Americans were extremely instrumental in bringing the Good Friday Agreement together. We all know how many years George Mitchell spent, The Mitchell Principles are named after him on that. So we want to get to the bottom of this and find out who wasn’t thinking on this.

AF: But who wasn’t thinking now? Look, the subpoenas can be withdrawn…today…tomorrow.

CT: Yes. Which we highly recommend that the Department of Justice do so and that White House get involved and tell them: Hey, withdraw this. This is going against our interests. I think there’s alot of conspiracy theories, there’s alot of speculation; I tend to find the simplest explanation is generally the truest one. And in terms of bureaucracy and government…I think that this slipped through. I think that there was some shenanigans played on the UK side. I think they presented it as a purely criminal investigation; they did not alert the US side to the political implications and whoever’s desk it landed on didn’t think to ask. And it was just a complete screw-up.

AF: There’s a hearing this Tuesday. Explain what that is.

CT: Tuesday’s hearing: We had originally filed a Motion to Intervene on the original subpoena case which was denied on the same day that Boston College’s Motion to Quash was denied. So we immediately filed an injunction and we filed our own separate complaint which is going to be heard on Tuesday in the lower court by Judge Young, the same Judge that heard the Motion to Quash. The DOJ filed a Motion to Dismiss. So this is being heard in Boston on Tuesday. Funnily enough, it’s being heard at Boston College, of all places.

AF: You don’t expect to get a cup of tea and a sandwich there, do you?

CT: Oh, I will be there. I will be there. This is part of why I’m here. Because this is not about papers in an archive. This is about people’s lives. And I’m going to be sitting there and I am going to be making it very clear.

AF: I am very understanding and in full sympathy. I clearly understand where you are. I would hope that this will go away on Tuesday. I hope that this does not have to drag on into March. I can also say, though that , if I were in your position, I would definitely understand that this about you, this about your husband, this about your two kids, and rightly so. For those of us who have invested a lot of our time and our energy and our support and those of us who are delighted that there is a Good Friday Agreement in addition to supporting you, your family. I also think that somebody is not looking at the gravity of the situation and if we don’t we’re walking into an horrific situation here. You’re here, I’m delighted you’re here, but I’m also delighted that you are getting to speak to say, Peter King, somebody who again, was one of many, when you have the Jim Cullens, when you have all of those, The Brehon Law Society. This is a community that has invested a lifetime of careers in getting us to where we are today. In a few days from now…in three day’s time this can boil over, this can be very destructive or this can be a focal point where somebody gets real here and knows that this is not just a mother and a wife but that this is a situation which is already out of hand, there’s no point in saying it’s not. This is one that has taken off like a very destructive fire. For those who are listening to this program I think that we really have to do something. We can’t sit back and see how this is going to play out.

CT: No, we can’t. And this would undo all the good, hard work that has been done over the years by specifically Irish-Americans to bring peace to Northern Ireland, to set up these institutions. In a sense I am here directly to plead for my life and my family’s life. But I’m here also as a surrogate for everybody else who participated in this project. We are very concerned about the safety of the Loyalists who participated in this and all the other Republicans that participated in this. And wider than that, all the people that could be directly affected by this. And especially if this upsets the apple cart and totally ruins the stability which is very fragile, very, very fragile in the North. Things are not bedded down. Things are not bedded down there and they can go off at any minute and we do not want to see this Boston College issue to be the spark that sets off the tinderbox.

AF: I wish you luck. (CT interjects: Thank you.) And I hope that sanity will prevail. And I don’t want to be among those who points my own finger at whatever. All I know this is an horrific situation and somewhere and somehow is shifting the blame from one to the other, we’ll have plenty of time actually to analyse that if the subpoenas are withdrawn. We can then at our own ease, we can take sides. Right now this is life threatening, lives are going to be affected; the safety, the security. But above and beyond all of that, the Good Friday Agreement, the peace process in Northern Ireland, will definitely not be what it is today. And has the potential, and I don’t want to be scaremongering here, but it does have the potential of having a terrible crash which won’t take years at all. This is going to come down on top of us. Whereas it is relatively simple right now. And I think we should look directly at Washington we should look directly at our political leaders, all who have a rightful place in celebrating the American contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process. And they have to get off their backsides, right now.

CT: Write your Congress people, call your Congress people, call your Representatives, raise this issue. Ask them to do whatever they can to get this withdrawn. This is for peace in Northern Ireland. This is for peace and stability. Another sad thing about this is that this is: a truth commission is something really, really needed. Which is going to make it impossible for people to get. That is the vital ingredient of any peace process: is to be able to deal with the past. And this needs to be withdrawn. And that is something that is a vital ingredient at the end of any peace process. This needs to be withdrawn. It’s a huge wall that has been built, damage that it has been done in terms of a truth commission people willing to come forward. The Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains has already been publicly saying that this has had a terrible effect on people coming forward to them helping families finding their loved ones. This is just so the wrong thing to so. And any help people can give…

AF: In order of importance we need to get immediate action and we need to get those subpoenas withdrawn, withheld, put in the bins, whatever that takes. And then hash out…there’s no rush on this. I don’t know who feels that all of this is due yesterday. It appears that all involved have spent much more time either pointing fingers, getting out from under…and then in the meantime this is disasterous on the personal level. I obviously hope that for you, for your family. And for all the families in the same position. It’s not like it’s just your family.

CT: No, there’s far too many.

AF: And again, rather than us waiting to see what the hell is gonna happen next Tuesday or what’s gonna happen in March, we’ve got to get to those who, many of whom aren’t even aware of the severity of the situation. We need to get to them and we need to make sure, and again without taking sides situation we need to get to them and again without taking side

CT: That’s missing the point of the Big Picture. The Big Picture is exactly what you’re talking about. We need to have the stability. We need to have the peace process. We can fight this out afterwards; but the Big Picture. And specifically for Americans that maybe not have been following the peace process: You have the issue of a foreign government who is using a treaty to invade American academic libraries. You have the issue of the First Amendment. You have the issues of the protection of sources. You have the chilling effect on Oral History; which is a history that is important to all cultures around the world. You have the fact that conflict zones from around the world, not just Ireland, depositing their papers here in the US. This is a much bigger issue. There are things that while we may that we disagree on the internal aspects of the Irish dimension This thing is something we can all agree; we need to put aside whatever differences on.

AF: Above all, as I see it, we need to make sure that anything that America contributes to will not jeopardise one more life in Northern Ireland.

CT: Exactly.

AF: Friends, you’re listening to Irish Radio Network USA.

(Interview ends)