What is behind the release of Boston College tapes of IRA interviews to the Northern Ireland police which took place this week after a U.S. federal court ruled that they should be handed over?
Allegedly the information in the tapes concerns an interview with dissident IRA woman Dolours Price, now deceased. She is said to have discussed the murder of Jean McConville, a mother of 10 from Belfast who “disappeared” in 1972. Allegedly Price claimed that Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was the commanding officer of the IRA who ordered her removal.
But that scenario is directly contradicted by Ed Moloney, the man who put together the ill-fated oral history of The Troubles for Boston College.
As journalist and former Republican spokesman Danny Morrison wrote in October 2012, “In his affidavit to a Belfast Court two weeks ago, he (Moloney) stated categorically that Dolours Price in her interviews with Anthony McIntyre for Boston College’s ‘Belfast Project’ does not once mention the name Jean McConville … nor that she received orders to disappear people from Gerry Adams or any other IRA figure.”
So there it is from the horse’s mouth and from an individual noted for his vitriol towards Adams. That seems to scupper that British scenario that the tapes held some smoking gun, literally, to aim at Adams.
The other matter is the mental condition of Price when giving the interviews for the Boston College project.
Here again Moloney described in harrowing detail how ill Price -- who was force fed on hunger strike and never fully recovered -- actually was.
He wrote his description after the Irish News newspaper published an interview with Price by journalist Allison Morris.
Moloney wrote, “When Dolours Price’s family heard that she had given an interview to Allison Morris they were alarmed. She had a history of psychiatric problems and substance abuse. She has been diagnosed with PTSD, had been hospitalized repeatedly and was taking strong psychotropic drugs.
“Indeed on the day she spoke to Morris she was on day leave from St. Patrick’s Psychiatric Hospital in Dublin. Her family believed that in her mental state, and because of her anger over Gerry Adams’ disavowal of the IRA, she was capable of saying literally anything and getting herself into undeserved trouble.”
Now anyone in their right mind would know that even if Price accused Adams of the crime, her testimony would never stand up in court given the poor state of her mental health.
So we have two strikes against the witch-hunt for these tapes, from the person most closely associated with them. Moloney says in a sworn affidavit that Price never mentioned the McConville case and that even if she had, she was so mentally traumatized that her evidence would never have stood up.
Nonetheless the authorities in Northern Ireland continued to pursue the tapes, and now they have a batch of them.
It is a part of the scenario which saw John Downey, a Sinn Fein activist, arrested for the Hyde Park Bombings of 1987 even though he had a letter clearing him from further prosecution as a part of the peace process.
The pattern is developing here quite clearly. The British securocrats’ agenda is to seek to dismantle the peace process by undermining support in the nationalist community by such actions.
They certainly seem to be succeeding. Can anyone shout stop?