Saturday 3 December 2016

US college resisting British bid for IRA interviews

John Breslin

Published 11/06/2011 | 05:00

A UNIVERSITY in the United States is fighting attempts by the British government to gain access to interviews with former IRA members.

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Boston College has filed a motion arguing against the move to get the written and taped interviews with the late Brendan Hughes and Dolours Price.

An affidavit by former hunger striker Anthony McIntyre, one of the interviewers, is included in the motion, filed with the US District Court in Massachusetts.

Lives will be at risk if the transcripts and tapes are released, the college argues.

The college's lawyers are asking for the subpoena to be quashed or at least more details on who is requesting the information.

Transcripts

The college believes the PSNI wants the transcripts and tapes as part of an ongoing investigation into historic crimes, including murder, conspiracy to murder and kidnapping.

Those who participated in the college's project to collect the oral history of the North's conflict, both loyalist and republican, did so on the understanding that the information would be made available only after their deaths.

They spoke candidly about their involvement in the conflict and about individuals central to the the North's recent history, including Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

Lawyers for the college said Mr Price suffered from depression and would be "deeply traumatised" if the interviews were made public.

In his affidavit, Mr McIntyre said the home next to his in west Belfast was smeared with faeces -- a case of mistaken identity -- after a book based on some of his interviews was published last year.

Irish Independent

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