Moloney angry over Troubles tapes (UTV)
Author and researcher Ed Moloney has said Dolours Price has been “badly let down” after Boston College handed over transcripts of interviews carried out with the former IRA member to the police.
Along with 25 other IRA members, Dolours Price spoke at the US school as part of an oral history project.
Now prosecutors in America have demanded access to any information contained in the interviews which relates to the murder of mother-of-ten Jean McConville, who was disappeared by the IRA in 1972.
At a recent court hearing the judge recommended Boston College appeal the decision to allow police to gain access to the transcripts, however the college did not continue with an appeal.
He added that the interviewers and their subjects are “deeply alarmed” by the consequences of revealing the texts to authorities.
Mr Moloney, whose discussions with Brendan Hughes and David Ervine formed his book Voices from the Grave, said the interviews were only carried out on the basis that it was legally safe, and the subjects had a “pledge of confidentiality [that] is utterly non-negotiable”.
“We’re reassuring them that if there is any attempt to groom any of us into any sort of criminal process by the PSNI, or whoever is behind this, then they can go and knock on other doors because they’re going to get no satisfaction and no joy from us.
“Our cooperation with the authorities on this will be non-existent and zero,” he added.
Speaking to UTV, Mr Moloney said the action taken by the PSNI has “destroyed all possibility now of any truth-telling process”.
“There is no way that anyone with sane mind is going to take part in any sort of process of truth recovery about the past while the PSNI are behaving like this.
Mr Moloney denied claims that the publication of his book, in which Brendan Hughes claimed Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams was implicated in Jean McConville’s murder, led to police demanding access to the other interviews.
“It was the culmination of a promise that was made by ourselves to Brendan Hughes that we would, as soon as possible after his death, make his interviews publicly available.
“In my view it wasn’t this that led to the subpoenas, it was something entirely different, another event involving other newspapers which led to this and we’ll talk about this at some other stage,” he said.
“At this point, we’re intent on putting all our energies into the process, we’ve got a stay and some very good lawyers working on this.”
North Antrim MP Ian Paisley said Ed Moloney’s decision not to pass evidence to authorities is “unacceptable [and] intolerable”.
“Those who practice journalism are like professionals in any other field whether it is doctors, nurses, lawyers or anyone else. Any assurances given to people that their interviews would not be shared with the lawful authorities have no legal force whatever.
“We must remember that this involves the withholding of information relating to terrorism. These are crimes of the most serious nature,” the DUP MP said.
UUP Lagan Valley MLA Basil McCrea says US authorities should hand material contained in the archives of Boston College over to the PSNI.
“If we must confront the past in order to clear the pathway to the future, then the material contained in the Boston College archive is extremely relevant and not part of some abstract or historical academic exercise and several implications flow from this,” he said.
“There are serious implications for certain individuals, as to who was really a member of which terrorist organisation, what role they played, who gave who orders and what those orders were.
“I have no doubt that the PSNI will be extremely interested in the information contained in the Boston College archive.”

Loyalist wants Boston College tapes returned (Belfast Telegraph)
A prominent Belfast loyalist has demanded that Boston College return interviews he gave as part of its oral history project on the Northern Ireland conflict.
The move by William ‘Plum’ Smith from the Shankill Road area comes during a legal battle continuing for access to interviews given by former IRA members.
These relate to the IRA’s abduction and execution of mother-of-10 Jean McConville in 1972 — accused by the Provos of being an Army informer.
Some of the Boston interviews reputedly implicate Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in the killing — something he has repeatedly denied.
Now, in another twist, Smith, who chaired the 1994 loyalist ceasefire news conference, has confirmed he has taken legal steps to have his interviews returned
He said: “I’m not concerned about the content.
“I’m concerned about the principle.
“I have asked for the tapes back because Boston College cannot guarantee the basis on which the interviews were given.”
The former Red Hand Commando prisoner, jailed for attempted murder in the early 1970s, was interviewed over several days as part of the college’s Belfast Project.
He agreed to participate, believing his contribution to the archive would remain confidential until after his death.
But the ongoing legal action relating to interviews given by republicans has clearly dented his confidence.
He told the Belfast Telegraph the project has “backfired”.
“How can people speak openly to give future generations the benefit of learning and the chance to analyse events if there’s a constant threat of prosecution hanging over them?” Smith asked.
“I got (solicitor) Kevin Winters to write demanding my interviews back,” he confirmed.
“It’s quite clear if they don’t hand them back, I’ll be taking them to court.”
A second loyalist has confirmed he also wants his material returned.
Winston ‘Winkie’ Rea, leader of the Red Hand Commando, said: “If the (Smith) test case wins it becomes a domino effect for others wishing to have their material returned to them.
“If I was asked to make a contribution to further student education projects, unfortunately I would have to seriously consider it.”
Rea, a former prisoner and son-in-law of the late Gusty Spence, had an influential leadership role in the loyalist decisions on ceasefire and decommissioning.
His interview for Boston College lasted several hours.
After the ceasefires, both he and Smith were part of the loyalist delegations involved in the political negotiations, including those leading to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

One comment

  • Riccrdo Rinaldi

    Da quando in qua un giornalista è obbligato a rivelare fonti e materiale alla polizia?
    New name, same aim… mi sto convincendo che è proprio vero!

    "Mi piace"


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