Police in Northern Ireland want to seize interview material from CBS News in New York relating to claims that Gerry Adams was an IRA leader as calls are made for his accuser Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price to be arrested.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) now want to seize material and interview notes from the Sunday Telegraph and the CBS network after recent claims by Price the Guardian newspaper is reporting.
Convicted bomber Price has again claimed that Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was the IRA leader who ordered her to drive Jean McConville, a suspected informer, across the border to her murder by the Provisionals, in December 1972.
Adams defenders have pointed out that Price, former wife of actor Stephen Rea, has major mental problems and has been arrested on several occasions for drunkenness and has allegedly made suicide attempts.
The Guardian is reporting that the PSNI is to seek to obtain notes and video footage from the Sunday Telegraph paper and the New York based CBS television station in relation to the allegations made by Price.
The PSNI has already gone legal in America in a bid to force the US Supreme Court to order Boston College to hand over tapes from a series of interviews led by Irish journalist Ed Moloney.
Moloney has claimed that the PSNI’s latest move proves police in Northern Ireland are now ‘laying siege’ to journalism.
He said: “Clearly this case is developing into a major assault on privacy. Not content with assailing academic rights, the PSNI are now set to lay siege to the media as well. Where will this stop?
“It is clear that the PSNI is substituting the efforts of journalists for basic detective work.”
A spokesperson for the PSNI confirmed on Friday that they are making new moves in the McConville case.
The spokesperson said: “We are pursuing all lines of inquiry in relation to the murder of Jean McConville.”
The Guardian reveals that this includes the most up to date interview with Dolours Price, the former Old Bailey bomber who now lives in North Dublin.
The Sunday Telegraph declined to comment but it is understood the PSNI has been in contact with the paper.
Price freely admits that she drove alleged informer McConville to her death in 1972.
She confessed: “I drove away Jean McConville. I don’t know who gave the instructions to execute her. Obviously it was decided between the General Headquarters staff and the people in Belfast. Gerry Adams would have been part of that negotiation as to what was to happen to her.
“I had a call one night and Adams was in a house down the Falls Road and she’d been arrested by Cumann [IRA’s female unit] women and held for a couple of days. She got into my car and as far as she was concerned she was being taken away by the Legion of Mary to a place of safety.
“It wasn’t my decision to disappear her, thank God. All I had to do was drive her from Belfast to Dundalk. I even got her fish and chips and cigarettes before I left her.”
In the Sunday Telegraph interview, Price was unrepentant about the disappearance and death of McConville.
She added: “You don’t deserve to die if you are an unpleasant person as she was but you do deserve to die if you are an informer, I do believe that. Particularly in a war, that is the Republican way.”
McConville’s family have welcomed the latest PSNI move.
Son-in-law Seamus McKendry told the Guardian: “Helen [Jean McConville’s oldest daughter] and I would be very much in favour of this move by the police.
“Every piece of the jigsaw is important in terms of the police building a case on Jean’s murder. So just as we have always supported the PSNI in their bid to get the Boston College tapes we think it is entirely justified that they are able to pore over the interviews the paper and the broadcaster carried out.”
McKendry also called on police in the Republic to arrest Price.
He added: “She is living openly in Malahide, north Dublin, so I don’t see why the Garda (police) cannot arrest and question her about what she said in her very own words.
“I was at Jean’s inquest and all the evidence pointed to her being shot dead in County Louth in the Irish Republic, which means the crime was committed in the Garda’s jurisdiction. So it’s up to the Garda to question her.”