Senator John Kerry has called on Boston College not to release the tapes to British authorities, as they could jeopardize the peace process.
In a Boston Herald editorial, the Massachusetts senator says that the future of Ireland should not get lost in a violent past.
“History must not be a weapon against those trying to seize the opportunity of today to build a more promising tomorrow,” Kerry wrote.
In December, a Federal Judge ordered Boston College to turn oral histories they had recorded over to the British authorities. The college has since appealed the decision.
The tapes include confidential interviews with the former members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Conducted between 2000 to 2006 and known as the Belfast Project, the goal of the college’s academic project was to interview members of the IRA and other Irish paramilitary organizations about their activities during the Troubles.
“It is my hope that these transcripts remain confidential because for some this has become a matter of life and death,” said Kerry.
“This investigation could endanger a fragile peace process. It is safe to say that any of the crimes that have been described would have occurred prior to the Good Friday Agreement.”
Concluding he said, “We must continue the hard work of writing a new history for a people who have known so much pain.”