A federal judge has ordered Boston college to hand over recorded interviews with a former member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), to British authorities who are investigating crimes during the Troubles.
On Tuesday, Federal Judge William G. Young in Boston directed the school to hand over the interviews this week.
The data includes recordings and transcripts related to Dolours Price, who has admitted to being involved in many IRA crimes during the era.
In response to the judge’s ruling, Boston College said it was disappointed, arguing that the decision “could have a chilling effect because people could be reluctant to participate in oral history projects moving forward,” the Boston Globe reports.
However, Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn, said the school would not be appealing the decision.
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The recordings are part of the Belfast Project, a Boston College oral history project about the troubles. The Belfast Project assured all interviewees that their identities would remain anonymous and the material would remain confidential until the person had died.
The Northern Irish police now want everything in the BC oral history archive related to the murder of Jean McConville in 1972, a mother of ten who was shot by the IRA. Attempts have long been made to link Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to the murder.
Judge Young provided no explanation to his ruling on Tuesday but he pointed out two weeks ago that the US and the UK are bound by treaty to share information that is relevant to ongoing criminal investigations.
“These are serious allegations, and they weigh strongly in favor of disclosing the confidential information,’’ Young wrote.
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