“We are disappointed with [Judge Young’s] ruling in light of the effect it will have on the enterprise of oral history,’’ BC spokesman Jack Dunn told The Boston Globe of the most recent order. “We will take the time allotted us to review our legal options, which include the right to appeal this decision.”
The college did not however appeal the initial Price tapes ruling, leading to a bitter war of words between the researchers and the college over exactly what should have been done to protect the archive. McIntyre and Moloney say they have been betrayed by BC; the college in turn says that although it is not happy with developments, it is obliged to follow valid court orders relating to a criminal investigation.
McIntyre and Moloney were given some breathing space by the US Court of Appeals when it deemed that the Price tapes should not be given to the PSNI before further review. The next hearing on the matter is set for March, and Judge Young has said that the seven more recent orders will fall due three business days after the hold on the Price tapes is lifted, if that happens.
Meanwhile at a separate hearing Tuesday - conducted coincidentally at Boston College Law School owing to an education program aimed at bringing the court system to legal students - Judge William G. Young dismissed a complaint brought by McIntyre and Moloney against the US Government.
At the hearing - which Boston College was not a part of - the pair argued through their lawyer James Cotter that Attorney General Holder did not properly consider the implications for those involved before issuing the subpoenas, and did not follow certain safeguards agreed between the two governments with regard to MLAT, which included provisions for crimes committed before the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
The pair also claimed the release would be in violation of their First Amendment rights, and could endanger the fragile peace in Northern Ireland. The personal safety of all involved in the project was also raised, given heightened dissident activity in Northern Ireland of late.
McIntyre’s wife Carrie Twomey, herself an American citizen, had outlined in a previous court affidavit how she feels her family is in danger over the release of the tapes. The couple lives with their two children in Drogheda, Co. Louth, having moved from Belfast two years ago.
“My husband is being classified as an informer,” she told The Irish Emigrant. “There is definitely that distinct rustling in the undergrowth. When Voices from the Grave was released, our neighbor’s house was attacked.
“I wouldn’t be here in the US spending money I don’t have, if I didn’t feel my life was in danger. We’re trying to get the grown-ups to step forward and do the right thing. This case goes completely against US foreign policy and leaves a lot of US citizens open to potential pitfalls.”
As expected, however, Judge Young dismissed the complaints at the brief hearing, and all involved must now wait until March before a ruling on a handover of the tapes to the PSNI is made.