Following yesterday’s statement by Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre regarding the Boston Tapes and the Historical Enquiries Team, there has now been another twist in the story. Reports on both BBC (NI) and RTÉ News say that transcripts of interviews with the late Dolours Price, carried out as part of the Boston College project, have been handed over to the PSNI. The former IRA member who died in January was one of several ex- paramilitaries, interviewed by Moloney and McIntyre as part of a Boston College project to create an Oral History of the “troubles”. The recordings were started in 2001 and were made on the condition that confidentiality would be guaranteed until after the death of the republican and loyalist paramilitaries who took part.
The PSNI sought access to the transcripts as part of their investigation into the disappearance of Belfast mother-of-ten, Jean McConville, who was abducted and murdered by the IRA, then buried secretly. But the director of the Boston College Project, Ed Moloney and researcher Anthony McIntyre insisted Price did not make claims about the Disappeared in her interviews. They took a legal action to try to prevent the handing over of the interviews.
In a statement the PSNI said two detectives from the Serious Crime Branch had travelled to Boston to take possession of materials authorised by the United States appeal court as part of their investigation into the murder of Jean McConville.
Mr McIntyre said they were disappointed at the move. He said both he and Ed Moloney would fight to prevent any more transcripts being handed over to the PSNI.
Crisis In Historical Enquiries Team Probe Of NI’s Past Shows Need For A Fresh Start And An End To Boston College Probe.
Statement from Ed Moloney & Anthony McIntyre on the failures of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET):
Following the decision by the Policing Board of Northern Ireland to suspend all reviews by the HET of military cases and in light of the board’s expression of no confidence in the leadership of the HET on foot of a damning report by the British Inspectorate of Constabulary into the HET’s performance, we call upon the British authorities to immediately suspend the ongoing PSNI investigation resulting from the subpoenas served on Boston College.
We also urge both the US and British governments to immediately withdraw the subpoenas served against Boston College’s Belfast Archive.
It is clear from the HMIC report, from the rigorous investigations carried out by Dr Patricia Lundy, from our own examination of the HET’s record and from the response of public and politicians to this crisis that there is no confidence in the way the British authorities are dealing with the sensitive and all important issue of Northern Ireland’s troubled past.
The way the authorities have invested so much time and money pursuing the Boston archives is in stark contrast to the slipshod and half-hearted efforts that the HET has put into investigating state sponsored violence, especially killings carried out by the British Army. This, we believe, is symptomatic of the double standards that have infected the HET-based approach to dealing with the past.
We urge the British and Irish governments to suspend all criminal and non-criminal inquiries into the past until agreement has been reached by all parties on a credible way forward and a mechanism to deal with the past has been created in such a way that it commands widespread confidence and support.