Boston College legal battle could mean Gerry Adams goes to trial over IRA
Researchers now fear for peace process, own safety
Gerry Adams, one of the chief architects of the peace process in the north of Ireland, may soon find himself on trial over his IRA past.
Police in the north want to controversially seize taped interviews with former IRA members that were recorded by Boston College in a project they vowed would never be released to the authorities.
In particular, police want to examine comments made in relation to the Irish Republican Army's killing of Jean McConville, a Belfast mother of 10, in 1972.
Researchers at the college are fighting the request for a handover of the tapes, fearing that the unguarded revelations contained in them could well trigger new attacks against IRA veterans and thereby undermine the peace peace.
McConville, who was a 37-year-old widow, is receiving special attention because of allegations that Adams commanded the IRA unit responsible for ordering her execution. Adams however, denies this.
'Imagine if these interviews are delivered to the police and their contents come out in court,' Ed Moloney, a former Belfast journalist who directed Boston College's oral history project told ABC News. 'There'll be a hue and cry for Gerry Adams' political scalp.'
Moloney and Anthony McIntyre (the former IRA member who collected the interviews) will go to court next Tuesday in Boston in the hope of persuading the judge to prevent the audio tapes from being delivered to Belfast police.
McIntyre originally won the IRA veterans' confidence by insisting their confessions would remain confidential and beyond the reach of British law as long as they lived. However a judge last month ruled that the interviews of one living IRA veteran should be surrendered to the police because she discusses her role in the McConville killing.
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