British could request Dolours Price evidence from Boston College after her death
Researchers adamant US Supreme Court ‘stay order’ remains
Lawyers for the researchers with the Boston Tapes project fear a fresh legal challenge to release documents in the wake of the death of convicted IRA woman Dolours Price.
The former hunger striker was found dead in her Dublin home at the age of 61 on Thursday. Police do not suspect foul play.
Price alleged in a series of recordings with the Boston Tapes project that Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was an IRA leader.
She also claimed that Adams was involved in the disappearance of Belfast woman Jean McConville.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has been involved in a legal bid to have the college make the Price tapes available to them.
So far, the US supreme court has applied a stay on the applications.
But lawyers for the two writers most closely involved with the legal project do believe fresh efforts to release material will be made in the wake of Price’s death.
Kevin Winters, solicitor for academic and former IRA member Anthony McIntyre, told the Irish Times newspaper that Price’s death could prompt fresh legal bids to have her evidence made public.
He is confident however that the court stay would remain in force ‘for the foreseeable future’.
Journalist Ed Moloney, author of Voices from the Grave, also claimed that the death of Ms Price would have no effect on the withholding of the tapes.
Moloney told the paper that Boston College said the tapes would remain confidential ‘until the US supreme court says otherwise.’
Sinn Fein leader Adams meanwhile has said that he feels no bitterness towards Price.
In a statement, Adams said: “I want to express my profound sadness at the news of the death of Dolours Price. I want to extend my sincere condolences to her family and especially to her two sons, Danny and Oscar, and her sister Marian.
“I have known Dolours for a very long time. She endured great hardship during her time in prison in the 1970s, enduring a hunger strike which included forcefeeding for over 200 days.”
A police spokesman confirmed to the paper that there are no plans to conduct any investigation into the death of Price.
The spokesman said: “It’s up to the coroner now.”
Price and her younger sister Marian were convicted in connection with the IRA bombing of the Old Bailey in central London in March 1973. More than 200 people were injured in the attack and one man died later.
They went on hunger strike in prison following their arrest and were force-fed for more than 200 days of their protest before they were eventually moved to an Irish prison.
Price’s testimony to historical researchers at Boston College in Massachusetts was recorded on condition that it would not be made available until after her death.
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