Former IRA man clears hurdle in legal battle over Boston College tapes

Former IRA man clears hurdle in legal battle over Boston College tapes
Alan Erwin
Belfast Telegraph
19/09/2016

A former IRA man interviewed for an American university project has cleared the first stage in a legal battle to stop police accessing his confidential tapes.

Anthony McIntyre was granted leave to seek to judicially review the PSNI and Public Prosecution Service for issuing an International Letter of Request (ILOR) over recordings held at Boston College.

Detectives want the material as part of their investigation into alleged terrorist offences stretching back 40 years.

But senior judges in Belfast ruled today that they were not yet satisfied information in the request for international co-operation had been “scrupulously” examined.

The case will now proceed to a full hearing in November.

McIntyre, who is from Belfast but now lives in the Irish Republic, was one of the main researchers in a 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.

Rea, 65, from Groomsport, Co Down, has been charged with the murders of two Catholic workmen in Belfast more than 25 years ago.

Now the authorities want access to 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 ILOR setting out alleged offences being probed, including a bomb explosion at Rugby Avenue in Belfast in 1976, and membership of a terrorist organisation.

Counsel for the former IRA man claimed he was the victim in the bombing, and that he was acquitted of the membership charge that features in the ILOR.

Accusing police of mounting a fishing expedition, Ronan Lavery QC said: “The letter itself is replete with errors, which we say are misleading and require an explanation.”

With leave to apply for a judicial review granted, fuller arguments will be advanced at the main
hearing.

Lord Justices Weatherup and Weir were also told Boston College has now released the tapes to authorities in America.

But the judges stressed that if PSNI officers travel to Massachusetts to retrieve the recordings they must remain under seal and be stored with the court until the challenge is decided.

Outside court a legal representative with McIntyre’s solicitors, KRW Law, said: “These matters should be properly and fully investigated before these international letters of request are issued.

“We agree with the judges view that these matters should be scrupulously attended to, and it’s our view that this has not happened in this case.”

Ex-IRA man denies bomb attack in new Boston College twist

Ex-IRA man denies bomb attack in new Boston College twist
newsletter.co.uk
23 June 2016

A former IRA man interviewed for an American university project claims he was the victim of a bomb attack for which he is now under investigation, the High Court has heard.

Anthony McIntyre also alleges he was acquitted on a charge of membership of a proscribed organisation that forms part of a police attempt to gain access to his tapes from Boston College.

Senior judges in Belfast have now ordered the PSNI and Public Prosecution Service to clarify the situation and explain how an International Letter of Request (ILOR) for the material wrongly included an erroneous conviction for armed robbery.

McIntyre’s legal bid to stop detectives listening to the tapes has been put on hold until explanations are provided and shared with American authorities.

With the case adjourned until September, PSNI officers due to travel to Boston on Saturday as part of a separate inquiry will not yet be able to take possession of the his recordings.

McIntyre, who is from Belfast but now lives in the Irish Republic, 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.

Rea, 65, from Groomsport, Co Down, appeared before a court earlier this month charged with the murders of two Catholic workmen in Belfast more than 25 years ago.

Now the authorities want access to 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 ILOR setting out alleged offences being investigated.

McIntyre’s lawyers have issued judicial review proceedings against the PSNI and PPS for issuing the request letter.

In court on Thursday it emerged that the alleged offences being investigate include a bomb explosion at Rugby Avenue in Belfast in 1976, and an imitation or toy pistol discovered inside a prison where he served time.

Ronan Lavery QC, for McIntyre, claimed: “The ILOR is replete with errors, and that’s putting it mildly.”

Disputing any suggestion that his client was behind the bombing incident, he added: “In relation to the explosion on Rugby Avenue Mr McIntyre (says he) was the victim.”

It was also contended that the former IRA man was acquitted more than 30 years ago of a membership charge that features in the international letter.

Counsel for the respondents were unable to confirm the claim, insisting archives would have to be checked.

Lord Justice Weatherup, sitting with Lord Justice Weir, described the situation as unsatisfactory.

“It’s incredible; you have sent a letter to America … and you don’t know whether it was in respect of an offence for which he’s already been acquitted,” he said.

During the hearing it was accepted that an armed robbery incident for which McIntyre was never convicted was erroneously included in the ILOR.

But judges were told the mistake was brought to the attention of the US court before any decision was taken on releasing the tapes.

Tony McGleenan QC, for the chief constable, contended that McIntyre was raising speculative points that may prove to be groundless.

He suggested PSNI officers who will be in Boston on Saturday to collect other materials could also bring back the McIntyre recordings and deposit them, still sealed, with the court.

However, Lord Justice Weatherup instead directed the PSNI and PPS to first file a statement explaining the issues raised.

Outside court McIntyre’s solicitor, Gavin Booth of KRW Law, claimed the international request process was unlawful and conducted in bad faith.

He added: “The court’s order clearly reflects concerns it has with regard to certain statements which have been made in the ILOR.”

Former IRA man McIntyre being investigated over six alleged offences

Former IRA man McIntyre being investigated over six alleged offences
newsletter.co.uk
7 June 2016

A former IRA man who gave interviews for an American university project is being investigated in connection with six alleged offences, the High Court heard today.

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.

McIntyre, who is from Belfast but now lives in the Irish Republic, 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.

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.

Now the authorities want access to 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.

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.

It was confirmed today that they have been provided with a redacted version of the ILOR.

McIntyre’s barrister, Ronan Lavery QC, said: “The offences themselves are listed, but they aren’t specified in terms of date, or time or place.”

Responding to his concerns, Peter Coll QC, for the PPS, said there may be no option but to seek a certificate for PII from the Secretary of State.

Lord Justice Weatherup, sitting with Lord Justice Weir, decided issues about the redacted letter should be dealt with before the legal challenge continues.

“The explanation for this is incomplete,” he said.

“It can’t be that complicated, it’s based on some ongoing investigation where, if you made disclosure, it would jeopardise that investigation.”

During the hearing Tony McGleenan QC provided an affidavit on behalf of the Chief Constable outlining the reasons for the ILOR redactions.

He said it refers to sensitive, confidential material which, if revealed, could impede the police probe.

The court was told up to six alleged offences have been identified, with no further details provided.

Mr McGleenan added: “The first step would be to determine whether the Chief Constable wants to assert the PII claim.

“If we do, that will require a ministerial certificate in respect of those redactions.”

But Mr Lavery claimed inconsistencies between the public interest concerns and a separate reason cited of preventing possible destruction or tampering with the requested material.

Following submissions the case was adjourned to next week for a further review.

Ex-IRA man interviewed by Boston College investigated by PSNI

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.

Boston Tapes: Police may seek immunity over interviews

Boston Tapes: Police may seek immunity over interviews
By Will Leitch
BBC News NI
7 June 2016

The PSNI may apply to keep the reasons they want access to some of the Boston Tapes a secret, a court has heard.

Lawyers acting for a former IRA member were given a heavily redacted copy of the legal document on Monday.

But after demands were made to see the full version on Tuesday, the PSNI and Public Prosecution Service said they could apply for a Public Interest Immunity Certificate.

This would mean that the sections would remain blacked out.

At the High Court on Tuesday, lawyers for Anthony McIntyre said they wanted to see the full document, which lists the reasons why the PSNI and Public Prosecution Service want to seize some of the tapes.

Mr McIntyre was one of the main researchers who worked on the Boston College project.

The project contains candid interviews with loyalist and republican paramilitaries and were held in a library at Boston College.

In 2011, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) began a legal bid to gain access to the tapes.

Mr McIntyre’s lawyers are taking legal action to prevent his interviews being handed over to police.

On Monday the loyalist Winston “Winkie” Rea, 65, denied charges of murder dating back more than 20 years at Belfast Magistrates Court.

The charges were brought after the PSNI gained access to tapes of interviews Mr Rea had given to the Boston College “Belfast Project”.

Boston College seeks to quash application for Anthony McIntyre interviews

Boston College seeks to quash application for Anthony McIntyre interviews
Historian was involved in interviewing 26 republicans as part of project
Gerry Moriarty
The Irish Times
Wed, May 25, 2016

Boston College is due on Thursday to formally seek to overturn an application that would compel the university to hand over taped interviews given by former IRA prisoner Anthony McIntyre as part of the Belfast Project.

The British government, acting on behalf of the PSNI and the office of the North’s Director of Public Prosecution, last month served a subpoena on Boston College seeking access to Dr McIntyre’s personal interviews.

Historian Dr McIntyre, who served time in prison on an IRA murder conviction, was involved in interviewing 26 republicans as part of the oral history of the Troubles project.

Dr McIntyre also gave an interview about his IRA involvement during the conflict to another interviewer as part of the project.

Last month, Boston College’s spokesman Jack Dunn said the “subpoena was issued in proceedings that the United States District Court ordered sealed, and Boston College was requested to treat the proceedings and the subpoena as confidential”.

He added that, nevertheless, the college notified Dr McIntyre of the subpoena because it felt he should be informed his interview was requested.

On Wednesday, Mr Dunn told The Irish Times that Boston College intended to “file a motion to quash the subpoena as they have with the previous subpoenas”.

The matter, however, is under seal in the US federal court and our filing will not be public,” he added.

It is likely to be some time before the court issues its judgment on the matter.

Boston College tapes: Police bid for access to former IRA man’s interviews just ‘fishing expedition’, court hears

Boston College tapes: Police bid for access to former IRA man’s interviews just ‘fishing expedition’, court hears
By Alan Erwin
BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
Published 10/05/2016

Police attempts to gain access to a former IRA man’s interviews for an American university project are just a “fishing expedition”, the High Court heard today.

Lawyers for Anthony McIntyre insisted recordings of his activities stored at Boston College only contain details of offences for which he has already served a prison sentence.

They are taking legal action to stop efforts by the PSNI and Public Prosecution Service to gain access to the tapes.

McIntyre, who is from Belfast but now lives in the Irish Republic, 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 ex-loyalist prisoner Winston “Winkie” Rea.

Now the authorities want access to 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 a so-far undisclosed International Letter of Request (ILOR) setting out alleged offences being investigated.

The College has until May 26 to file a motion to quash those proceedings in the United States.

Meanwhile, McIntyre’s lawyers have launched legal action at the High Court in Belfast.

They are seeking to judicially review the PSNI and PPS for issuing the ILOR.

Ronan Lavery QC said that unlike the Rea case, the authorities have decided not to disclose details of the letter.

He told the court it was suspected the stance was taken because the ILOR reveals no specific offences.

According to the barrister McIntyre was in jail between 1976 and 1992, and has only been questioned about another alleged offence committed within prison.

“In June 1978 he was questioned about possession of an imitation firearm found in a pair of platform shoes,” Mr Lavery said.

“There’s no suggestion of any offence committed since that date.”

Based on the American proceedings taking place later this month, Mr Justice Maguire was told the judicial review application was no longer so urgent.

Mr Lavery contended, however: “We say it’s a fishing expedition, and has no specific (charge). But we won’t know that until we see the ILOR.”

Tony McGleenan QC, for the Chief Constable, responded that the court should wait until American proceedings are exhausted.

“At which point we will know if there’s a need for a hearing in this jurisdiction,” he explained.

Peter Coll QC, representing the PPS, agreed with his assessment, adding: “There’s no immediate urgency in this matter.”

Adjourning the case, Mr Justice Maguire noted that a future hearing may be required at short notice, depending on the outcome in the US.

Belfast Project Protection of Research Letter From American Sociological Association Presidents

Belfast Project Protection of Research Letter From American Sociological Association Presidents

May 5, 2016

To Whom It May Concern:

As the elected presidents of the American Sociological Association, we are profoundly disturbed by the effort to subpoena Dr. Anthony McIntyre’s recordings, collected as part of Boston College’s “Belfast Project,” an oral history of the political and sectarian violence in Northern Ireland decades ago. The research for that project was conducted with a guarantee that the information interviewees provided would not be released until after their deaths. Such guarantees are a core component of efforts by historians and social scientists to develop the research-based knowledge that is critical to an informed society.

This principle of protecting the confidentiality of information obtained from human research subjects is an important part of U.S. federal law and regulation governing research. It is intended to ensure that people who voluntarily participate in research may do so without the threat of harm while also maintaining their right to privacy. Additionally, it is intended to ensure that researchers may conduct studies involving human participants without threats to their ability to develop valuable scientific and humanistic knowledge. Such scholarly freedom is essential to both an informed and a free society.

The ASA, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession, and promoting the contributions and use of sociology to society. As the national organization for over 13,000 sociologists and related scholars and researchers, the ASA takes the responsibility of researchers to protect the confidentiality of research data extremely seriously—this principle is at the heart of the American Sociological Association Code of Ethics, which is enforced by the ASA Committee on Professional Ethics. Similarly, the ASA works vigorously on behalf of scholars and researchers whose efforts to protect confidential data obtained from research participants have been challenged.

As elected officers of the ASA we support Boston College’s effort to protect confidential research information from subpoena. The release of the “Belfast Project” interview data threatens the academic freedom to study difficult and controversial topics. It undercuts the willingness of potential participants in future research to share valuable information. In the short run, such intrusion in research seeking to understand past tragedies can harm the processes through which Northern Ireland now seeks political stability. And in the long run, we must weigh the potential damage to social science that can provide a firmer knowledge base for avoiding these types of conflicts in the future.

For these reasons, we hereby affirm the right of research confidentiality, which is fundamental to social research.

Respectfully,

Ruth Milkman
President
Professor of Sociology,
City University of New York Graduate Center

Paula England
Immediate Past President
Professor,
New York University

Michèle Lamont
President Elect
Professor of Sociology
Harvard University

American Sociological Association
1430 K Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 383-9005
(202) 638-0882 fax
executive.office@asanet.org
http://www.asanet.org

Boston College opposes legal moves to seize IRA tapes

Boston College opposes legal moves to seize IRA tapes
A subpoena has been served on the US college to hand over recordings from ex-IRA prisoner turned academic Dr Anthony McIntyre
Henry McDonald
Ireland correspondent
The Guardian
Thursday 28 April 2016

US university Boston College has confirmed it will oppose legal moves to seize tapes from an ex-IRA volunteer turned academic for a controversial archive of former paramilitaries.

A subpoena was served on Boston College earlier this week from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Public Prosecution Service in Belfast to hand over recordings from Dr Anthony McIntyre for the Belfast Project.

The college has now said it will file a motion to have the subpoena quashed.

The subpoena to obtain McIntyre’s personal interviews has been served under the terms of a UK-US legal assistance treaty and the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003.

Boston College has been ordered to appear at the John Joseph Moakley courthouse in the city on 6 May to deliver McIntyre’s interviews.

As well as conducting interviews with other former IRA members, McIntyre himself gave interviews to a guest researcher.

Set up in 2001, the Belfast project interviewed those directly involved in paramilitary violence between 1969 and 1994 in Northern Ireland. Participants were promised that the interviews would be released only after their death.

Boston College challenges tape subpoena

Boston College challenges tape subpoena
By Vincent Kearney
BBC News NI Home Affairs Correspondent
BBC News

A legal bid by the public prosecution service (PPS) and PSNI to gain access to interviews recorded by a former IRA member as part of the Boston College project is to be challenged by the American university.

Anthony McIntyre was one of the main researchers in the project.

A subpoena was served on the college at the weekend demanding access to interviews about his IRA activities.

The college says it will file a motion to quash the subpoena.

McIntyre’s legal team in Belfast also plan to lodge papers in the High Court challenging the legality of a decision by the PPS to use an international treaty to seek assistance from the US authorities.

The subpoena was served on the college by a lawyer acting on behalf of the British government.

It compels a representative of the college to appear in court in Massachussets next Friday to provide the material requested.

Anthony McIntyre’s lawyers team say that request was unlawful.

What are the ‘Boston tapes’?

Dozens of former paramilitaries were interviewed in Belfast and other cities and towns from 2001-2006 as part of an oral history project known as the Belfast Project.

Details about internal politics and activities of the IRA were revealed on tape, including accounts of a hunger strike in prison in the 1980s.

Overall, the project cost about $200,000 (£118,520), mostly provided by an Irish-American businessman.

Each interview was transcribed, sent by encrypted email to New York and then the material was sent to Boston College, where it was placed under lock and key at Burns Library.

Following a lengthy legal battle with the college, the Police Service of Northern Ireland gained access to a small number of the interviews in 2013.

A legal firm acting for Boston College, Locke Lord, has confirmed in a letter that it will also oppose the subpoena.

“I can confirm that Boston College will file a motion to quash the subpoena that seeks Anthony McIntyre’s Belfast Project interview recordings, transcripts, and related materials,” the letter states.

“No such materials will be produced pending a ruling on that motion.”

Anthony McIntyre recorded a number of interviews detailing his own activities during the Troubles, as well as interviewing others.

He served 18 years in prison for IRA offences, and insists the police have already questioned him about all of the issues listed in a subpoena served on Boston College.