Moloney angry over Troubles tapes
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.”