Threats to Researcher and Research Participants

UPDATE: Boston Tapes Read to Storey by PSNI

Now more IRA men fear being lifted over Ivor
We name four Provo veterans who were taped
Ivor Bell facing demands to tell all over Boston Tapes
Sunday World
Sunday – Tuesday 11th/13th May 2014


  • ‘BOSTON TOUT’ Ivor Bell is under pressure to come clean over the contents of the controversial Boston Tapes.
  • One time Provo OC Bell is facing demands to reveal the dark detail contained in interviewd he gave for the controversial project.
  • Now there are growing fears the tapes could spark a police republican round up of those named by an estimated 27 ex-combatants
  • Today, for the first time, the Sunday World can reveal the identity of a number of the republican veterans.


Ex-Provo boss told to spit out who he named when he spoke to Boston College

Former IRA chief Ivor Bell is under pressure to reveal the names of former comrades he exposed during interviews he gave to Boston College.

Dozens of former IRA members across Belfast are said to be in a ‘state of panic’ as the extent of the Boston College tapes becomes known.

Demands are now being made that Bell reveals all to those he has named during the controversial recordings in order to prepare them for possible future police investigations.

Today the Sunday World can reveal the identities of a number of prominent republican veterans dubbed the ‘Boston Touts’ who have recorded interviews with Boston College.

In recent weeks it has emerged that the former IRA OC Bell has completed over 40 interviews with project co-founder and former IRA prisoner, Anthony “Mackers” McIntyre.

“Ivor has given absolutely everything and there is massive anger growing because of that,” said one republican source.

“He has named dozens of people and Ivor needs tell the people he has named exactly what he said on the tapes. There is an acceptance that he has told everything so now he needs to go to the doors of those he has named and come clean.

“Ivor has gone further than anyone, it was designed as payback to republicanism which he came to hate and manifested itself for years,” the source said.


The Sunday World can reveal that in addition to Bell and deceased former provos Dolours Price and Brendan Hughes others including former escapee Tommy Gorman, blanketman Richard O’Rawe, and former IRA men Brendan ‘Shando’ Shannon and Paddy Joe Rice have also made tapes.

They are believed to have named dozens of people involved in IRA activity in Belfast in the 1970s.

The former IRA figures made the tapes on the basis that McIntyre and his colleague journalist Ed Moloney promised them that the contents of the tapes wouldn’t be released until the interviewees had died.

These assurances were blown out of the water by a US judge earlier this year when he ordered the tapes relating to the murder of Jean McConville to be handed over to the PSNI.

Anthony McIntyre has stated he believes he and his project has been “shafted” and at no stage was any of the information intended for police investigations including the murder of Jean McConville which Sinn Fein boss Gerry Adams was arrested in connection with last week.

The police have also used Ivor Bell’s own words to place him before the courts.

One former Belfast IRA figure told the Sunday World last night that concern was growing among many former IRA members in the city.

“If somebody like Ivor can spend hours on tape talking openly about his time in the army and possibly implicating himself in something like the McConville killing then god only knows what he has said about other things,” the former IRA figure said.

“Mackers [Anthony McIntyre] has managed to do what countless RUC men failed to do, he has turned good people into touts. He has got paid a fortune by the Americans to do this project and has now left those of us who served in the IRA at great personal cost to pick up the pieces.

“Many of the people who may be implicated here haven’t been active in republicanism since the 1970s, many are now grandparents and great grandparents but because of McIntyre’s greed and his reckless need to try and damage Sinn Féin our families will now have to suffer. The man is a disgrace,” the one time IRA man said.

The republican also repeated calls to Ivor Bell and Anthony McIntyre to come clean about the contents of the controversial Boston Tapes.

“Back in the day there were people who wouldn’t have thought twice about leaving a tout dead on the border. Now through their own arrogance some of those who did the tapes are no better than then the people they once condemned. Indeed it is worse, lads who broke under torture in Castlereagh can’t be compared to those who have broken every rule in the book for a few quid or because they needed their egos massaged.

“Mackers, Ivor and the rest need to come forward and tell those people they have informed on of the craic. People can’t be expected to sit here waiting for a knock on the door.” he added.


The Sunday World has learned that Anthony McIntyre was paid £26,000 a year over a five year period by Boston College to carry out the interviews, his partner was also employed to assist in compiling the information gained from the interviews.

Hate campaign against me has ratcheted up since Adams arrest, says IRA historian

Anthony McIntyre fears for his safety after police question the Sinn Féin leader over death of Jean McConville
Henry McDonald
The Observer
Saturday 3 May 2014

Anthony McIntyre, the former IRA life sentence prisoner-turned-writer, whose unprecedented and candid interviews with former comrades have put Gerry Adams in the frame for one of the most notorious killings of the Northern Ireland Troubles, is no stranger to hostility from within the republican movement.

He has previously faced angry protests outside his home for highlighting IRA activities in the 2000s, despite the group’s ceasefire, including the murder of a dissident republican in west Belfast. But now McIntyre fears for his safety after some of the material he recorded from former IRA men and women prompted the Police Service of Northern Ireland to arrest Adams for questioning about the 1972 murder of Jean McConville, wrongly accused of being a police informer by the republican movement.

As the backlash against Adams’s detention builds across republican redoubts in Northern Ireland, McIntyre said that hatred against him and others involved in the project among Sinn Féin supporters is intensifying.

McIntyre was the lead researcher who interviewed dozens of former IRA members for the Boston College Belfast Project, an oral history of the Troubles from those who were actively involved in violent loyalist and republican armed campaigns. Those taking part in the project, which began in 2001, were all promised that none of the taped material, much of it candid confessions of their own role in violence, would be released until their deaths.

But a landmark legal judgment in the US supreme court has resulted in the Boston College authorities handing over 10 taped testimonies of IRA activists that included material about the kidnapping, killing and secret burial of McConville, it was confirmed this weekend. The 10 are believed to mention Adams as an IRA commander involved in the decision that she be killed and then secretly buried for being an informer. Adams denies any involvement in the killing, and says he was never a member of the IRA.

The 10 tapes have played a critical role leading to Adams’s arrest – a move that is now threatening to undermine Sinn Féin support for policing and with it endangering the entire power-sharing settlement in Northern Ireland. McIntyre, known as Mackers to friends, moved from the stormy atmosphere of west Belfast nearly a decade ago to a quiet housing estate in the seaside town of Drogheda across the border in Co Louth. He lives with his wife and two children.

McIntyre told the Observer: “The hate has been ratcheted up since the Adams arrest.” He added that he and his family had already been the target of mainstream republicans after a tape from the former hunger striker Brendan Hughes was published as part of a book in 2010. Voices from the Grave by journalist Ed Moloney included Hughes, the former Belfast IRA commander, alleging that Adams gave the order to have McConville “disappeared” for allegedly being a British army agent. On the tape Hughes said Adams did not want to cause the republican movement political embarrassment by being seen to murder the mother of 10 children. Hughes also claimed on tape that Adams set up a covert IRA unit called the Unknowns, tasked with weeding out informers from the organisation and the wider republican community in the early 1970s.

One of their orders, allegedly from Adams, was to “disappear” or secretly bury informers, Hughes said. Up to 16 people were buried in unmarked graves across Ireland and, as in Jean McConville’s case, the IRA later put out bogus stories about them abandoning their families and fleeing to England.

As pressure builds on McIntyre over the Adams arrest, he is bitterly critical of the role Boston College had played in the controversy. “I believe Boston College was not fully committed to the protection of its research participants. Its lack of resolve has put both me and the research participants in a position that is close to precarious. Martin McGuinness [Sinn Féin’s deputy first minister of Northern Ireland], has been accusing us of being in consort with the ‘dark half’ of the PSNI. Danny Morrison [Sinn Féin’s former publicity director] has been labelling us touts [informers].

“The former mayor of Derry, Sinn Féin’s Kevin Campbell, has been tweeting that the Boston College project is a touting programme. The home next door to me was smeared with excrement after extracts of Voices from the Grave were published in 2010,” he said.

Asked why he did not envisage the legal arguments that would have led to the seizure of the Boston College Belfast Project tapes by the PSNI, McIntyre replied: “Obviously we did not see the pitfalls. Had we done so we would never have engaged. Boston College, with its phalanx of lawyers, failed to warn us or warn the people we interviewed that there were pitfalls. They persistently and adamantly claimed to have covered all bases.” The PSNI successfully used a UK-US agreement, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, to argue that they were entitled to examine those tapes on which IRA members allegedly talked about the McConville murder.

But Boston College has claimed that McIntyre, Moloney and Bob O’Neill from the Burns Library on the American campus were all aware of the treaty and its implications for material that focused on the commission of a crime in the UK, namely the McConville murder.

A spokesman said: “Boston College’s attorneys did everything in their power to oppose the subpoenas. Once the US federal courts issued their final decision, Boston College had no choice but to comply. The reality is that the first subpoena was issued when Ed Moloney released his book and subsequent documentary, Voices from the Grave. The publicity surrounding their release, coupled with the Dolours Price interview in the Irish media in which she implicated herself and [allegedly] Gerry Adams in the abduction of Jean McConville, led to the PSNI’s decision to seek the first subpoena.”

A Boston College spokesman claimed that a subsequent Moloney interview with the Boston Globe “undoubtedly led the PSNI to seek the second subpoena for the remaining IRA tapes”.

Speaking in New York on Friday night, Moloney expressed his own concern over McIntyre’s safety. “I have a degree of protection by virtue of being a journalist but I am deeply worried about Mackers’s position and his family. I know the sort of people who are making the threats, and they can be dangerous when spurred on by spin doctors,” he said.

Moloney challenged McGuinness and others in the Sinn Féin leadership to condemn those “inciting hatred” against McIntyre and his family. He also criticised Boston College for handing over the tapes and claimed it would have implications globally for any historical project about conflicts.

One person in favour of handing over the tapes to the PSNI is Helen McKendry, Jean McConville’s eldest surviving daughter. Last week the British government ruled that there would be no judicial inquiry into the deaths of 11 civilians, including a Catholic priest, in the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast at the hands of British troops in August 1971. McKendry said she supported the families of the Ballymurphy victims in their quest for truth and justice.

“If British soldiers involved in the Ballymurphy massacre or Bloody Sunday gave taped testimony about what they did back then, I would support moves by police to get at that material too. Victims deserve the truth, and if the police, whether if it’s in the case of my mother or the victims of the British army, need that kind of testimony then justice says they should get it,” she said.

Despite the vitriol heaped on him, McIntyre said their project still offered an alternative to the “political and legal fiction constructed for its ability to facilitate the peace process rather than produce accuracy”.

See also

Gerry Adams release will not make fallout go away, you know

Key figures ‘upping the ante’ over Boston College tapes


Tick-tock, your time is up
Former IRA man fears for his family as loyalists warn him to look under his car for bombs
Suzanne Breen
Irish Daily Mail
Thursday, July 5, 2012

A former IRA man is today taking unprecedented legal action in a Belfast court, claiming his life is at risk from republicans.

Lawyers for Anthony McIntyre will argue that he will be in imminent danger from his former comrades if the Police Service of Northern Ireland is given tapes relating to a 1972 murder.

Mr McIntyre — originally from Belfast but now living in Drogheda, Co. Louth — served 18 years in jail for IRA activities. “Myself, my wife and my two young children already take security precautions,” he said.

McIntyre’s American wife, Carrie Twomey, has received internet death threats. One loyalist wrote on Twitter, “Your time to check under your car”. Another wrote, “tick-tock, tick-tock, Carrie Twomey”. The threats have been reported to the gardaí.

“We live with fear from so many quarters, day in, day out,” said Ms Twomey.

“Every morning, I check the garden and under the car,” Mr McIntyre said. “My children aren’t allowed to answer the door and they’ve been ordered not to pick up anything in the garden in case it’s a pipe bomb. It’s a terrible way to live.”

In December, 1972 West Belfast mother-of-ten Jean McConville was abducted, killed and secretly buried by the IRA for allegedly being an informer.

As a researcher for an oral history project on the Troubles for Boston College in the US, Mr McIntyre interviewed 26 republicans about their past activities. They spoke without the approval of the IRA leadership.

Two — ex Belfast Brigade commander Brendan Hughes, and former Old Bailey bomber, Dolours Price — alleged that Gerry Adams ordered Mrs McConville’s death, a claim Mr Adams denies. Six other interviewees also referred to the murder.

They had been promised the tapes wouldn’t be released until after their deaths. Last year, the PSNI sought access to the tapes, which were stored at Boston College.

A US judge ordered the college to hand over the material but as an appeal decision looms, the legal battle has now moved across the Atlantic.

In Belfast High Court, Mr McIntyre today will seek leave to apply for a judicial review to stop the PSNI pursuing the tapes.

His lawyer, Kevin Winters, said: “I’m anticipating that the imminent US ruling will be in the PSNI’s favour. The turnaround period could be very quick with the tapes in police hands in days. The real and immediate threat to my client’s life would then increase significantly.”

Winters will argue that Mr McIntyre’s right to life — under Article Two of the European Convention on Human Rights and the 1998 Northern Ireland Human Rights Act — is being infringed.

The court will weigh Mr McIntyre’s right to life against the right of detectives investigating Mrs McConville’s murder to gather evidence.

A former senior ex-Provisional publicly branded Mr McIntyre ‘an informer’ for breaking the IRA’s code of secrecy in the Boston project. In his affidavit to the court, Mr McIntyre states how another leading ex-IRA man, Bobby Storey, told republicans never to breach the Provos’ ‘code of honour’.

The affidavit also includes a newspaper article where republicans threaten Mr McIntyre with the same fate as Eamon Collins, who was beaten to death in 1999 after penning his IRA memoirs.

The republicans stated that Mr McIntyre could be stabbed or knocked down by a car with his death made to look like an accident.

Mr McIntyre’s interview with Hughes — who accused Gerry Adams of ordering Mrs McConville’s murder — was published after Hughes’ death in February 2008, in the Voices from the Grave book by Ed Moloney.

Mr McIntyre revealed that the day after the book was published in March 2010 the home and car of his neighbour in Drogheda was attacked in a case of mistaken identity. Both the house and vehicle were smeared with animal and human excrement.

❡​ Writer welcomes US college’s condemnation of alleged IRA threat
Irish Times
4 April 2010
GERRY MORIARTY, Northern Editor

WRITER AND commentator Anthony McIntyre has welcome a statement by Boston College condemning alleged death threats made against him arising from interviews he carried out for the US university.

Former IRA prisoner Mr McIntyre said that he learned of the threats this month from what he said were “informed” sources.

He said he was told the threats emanated from Provisional republicans. “People have been telling me that the talk in the undergrowth is that they want to stab me or run me over by a car,” he said.

A Sinn Féin spokesman said there were no threats from republicans against Mr McIntyre.

“There are no threats against Anthony McIntyre or against anyone else, emanating from republicans. The IRA has left the stage,” he added.

The threats are believed to have been triggered by interviews Mr McIntyre conducted on behalf of Boston College with the late senior IRA figure Brendan “The Dark” Hughes, and with the late UVF member and Progressive Unionist Party leader David Ervine.

This material was used in Ed Moloney’s recently published book, Voices From the Grave, which most controversially contained allegations by Hughes that Gerry Adams was IRA leader in Belfast in the 1970s when the IRA carried out many killings and attacks, including the murder and secret burial of Jean McConville.

The interviews were carried out on condition that the information would not be used until after the deaths of Hughes and Ervine or of any other subjects who gave interviews.

Mr McIntyre, originally from west Belfast but who now lives in Drogheda, said after The Sunday Times published extracts from Mr Moloney’s book at the end of March that a neighbouring house was targeted. Excrement was daubed on the house and on the car belonging to the couple who owned the house.

The couple believed they were the victims of mistaken identity while Mr McIntyre believed he was the intended target.

While neither the Garda nor the PSNI have formally warned him about any threats he believed the reports he received were genuine. “When you hear these things you have to be cautious without being alarmist,” said Mr McIntyre, who is married with two young children.

Mr McIntyre is a longstanding critic of Mr Adams and the Sinn Féin and IRA leaderships. His home in west Belfast was picketed by Sinn Féin in 2000 after he blamed the IRA for the murder of a west Belfast dissident republican Joe O’Connor.

Prof Thomas E Hachey, history professor at Boston College and executive director of its Centre for Irish Programs, said the college viewed with “grave concern” the threats against Mr McIntyre.

“We affirm our support for, and confidence in, Anthony McIntyre, a skilled reporter and trained historian, whose own assignment was simply to record recollections of the Troubles voluntarily afforded by IRA participants, including Brendan Hughes,” he said.


Widely reputed director of IRA intelligence, Bobby Storey, at the time death threats against Belfast Project researcher Anthony McIntyre were reported in the press, gave a speech in Belfast where he discussed breaking the IRA code:

The code of honour and ethics that guided IRA volunteers, including our patriot dead, is still what guides IRA volunteers. No-one in the army expects anyone else in it to break that code – it is as true now as it was then.

Pro-British elements are trying to tell republicans that our credibility hangs on whether or not we admit to being in the IRA or not.

As republicans we did not reveal the names, the roles or the actions of our comrades in the past and we won’t be doing so now.

To do so betrays this struggle and the bond of confidentiality that united us as comrades.

❡​ Journalist Malachi O’Doherty describes his encounter with Bobby Storey
❡​ Jack Holland writes about Bobby Storey in the wake of the Castlereagh break-in

UPDATE: Boston Tapes Read to Storey by PSNI


Former Sinn Fein publicity director Danny Morrison says Anthony McIntyre’s work for Boston College makes him and those interviewed ‘touts’ or informers.  September, 2011.

❡​ Previously: Published in Sinn Fein’s party newspaper, An Phoblacht, July 2011: Foot in the Mouth, another attack on Anthony McIntyre, Ed Moloney and the Boston College project by Danny Morrison.


Martin McGuinness, now Deputy First Minister of the Stormont Executive, explains what the IRA did to ‘touts’

Martin McGuinness: Well, I mean, if republican activists, who know what the repercussions are for going over to the other side, in fact, go over to the other side, then they more than anyone else are totally and absolutely aware of what the penalty for doing that is.

Interviewer: Death?

MM: Death, certainly.