Reopening of McConville murder investigation sparked by 'Boston Tapes'
THE reopening of the police investigation into the murder of Jean McConville was sparked by startling accusations made in recordings that became known as the 'Boston Tapes'.
The interviews were carried out as part of a project that began 13 years ago, which was intended to be an oral history of the Troubles.
The project comprised a series of conversations with former republican and loyalist paramilitaries. Recordings of the interviews were then placed in a library at Boston College in the US, and were not intended to be released publicly until after the participants had died.
Among those interviewed was leading IRA activist Brendan Hughes, who named Gerry Adams as the overall commander of the Provisionals' Belfast brigade. He claimed Mr Adams was in charge of a unit which was called "the unknowns".
This group, he alleged, was responsible for the abduction and murder of IRA victims. Another former IRA activist, Dolours Price, also took part in the Boston Tapes project. She subsequently claimed in a newspaper interview, in which she implicated Mr Adams in the McConville murder, that her role had been to drive the victim to her death in 1972.
Three years ago the PSNI launched a legal attempt to acquire copies of the tapes, and last year were given the go-ahead to secure the transcripts of the interviews given by Hughes and Price, who have both since died. Mr Adams has consistently denied the claims and said he had nothing to fear from any of the disclosures.