In yet another twist, the Boston College IRA tapes director Ed Moloney has revealed that IRA murder victim Jean McConville’s case was never discussed in the Dolours Price recording.
Price a former IRA operative was one of several former members who gave extensive interviews to Boston College researchers for an oral history project.
The British authorities are seeking the Price tapes and Boston College and the researchers have gone to court to prevent that happening but have been overruled so far,
The British government has been seeking the tapes because they allegedly link SInn Fein leader Gerry Adams to the disappearance of Jean McConville an early victim of IRA violence.Adams strongly denies any involvement.
Moloney has submitted an affidavit to Belfast’s High Court and has rejected the claims that Price discussed the McConville case.
He said: “Dolours Price did not once mention the name Jean McConville.
“The subject of that unfortunate woman’s disappearance is not even mentioned. Not once.
“Neither are the allegations that Dolours Price was involved in any other disappearance carried out by the IRA in Belfast, nor that she received orders to disappear people from Gerry Adams or any other IRA figure.
“None of this is in her interviews with Anthony McIntyre.”
McConville was abducted and killed in 1972 on suspicion of being an informer Price has made headlines again this week after alleging that Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams ordered her to drive McConville across the Irish border.
McConville was subsequently murdered by the IRA but her body has never been recovered.
Adams has rejected Price’s claims that he was involved in the atrocity while Moloney has dismissed the claims that the McConville case was mentioned in her interview for Boston College.
Moloney has consistently challenged the police bid to obtain a transcript of the interview with Old Bailey bomber Price.
The interviews are part of a research study called the Belfast Project and are held securely at the Burns Library at Boston College.
The intention was to preserve them for future academic research and participants were told the content of their interviews would be confidential and not be made public until after their deaths.
A press release has re-iterated Moloney’s claims.
It says: “In an affidavit sworn to on September 14th in Belfast High Court, Ed Moloney, Project Director of the Boston College Belfast Oral History Project, for the first time revealed, under oath, that there is absolutely no mention of Jean McConville in Dr. Anthony McIntyre’s interview with former IRA activist Dolours Price.
“And it was for the purpose of investigating the murder of McConville a suspected informant on the IRA, that the Boston College subpoenas instituted by the UK on behalf of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, PSNI, were based.
“Cloaked in the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, MLAT, between the US and the UK., the subpoenas sought, among other things, the interviews of Dolours Price relating to McConville’s murder; a 40 year-old murder that was never investigated after it happened and has lain dormant for years.
“Since last weekend, the British based Sunday Telegraph newspaper and CBS TV news implied or suggested that admissions by Dolours Price to them of involvement in the McConville disappearance were also made in her interviews for the Boston College Belfast Project.
“There was a similar claim, made two years ago, that this admission was presumed in Dolours Price’s Belfast project interviews that began this saga of the Boston College subpoenas. Both claims are false.
“In a vigorous effort to protect Americans’ First Amendment rights; the integrity of future academic research; and the confidentiality and safety of the Belfast Project interviewees , including the personal safety of Lead IRA researcher Dr. Anthony McIntyre who lives in Ireland and is at great risk, both Project Director Ed Moloney and Dr. Antony McIntyre are fighting to have the subpoenas dismissed in the courts on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The statement continues: “The Sunday Telegraph/CBS reports conflict with and contradict Moloney’s affidavit lodged in the Belfast High Court which stated that the McConville disappearance was not mentioned in those interviews.
“Consequently, the rationale on which the Boston College subpoenas are based is flawed.
“Fallout from the Boston College subpoenas saga has already resulted in destabilizing the US brokered Northern Ireland Peace Process with accusations and calls for resignations from both sides of the table as well as the compromising of future academic research, and the real threat to Americans’ First Amendment rights.
“The burning question is why the PSNI did not pursue resources closer to home in their investigation rather than attempting to raid the Boston College archive, thereby infringing on Americans’ First Amendment rights and placing Dr. McIntyre’s life in peril and his family in danger.
“The Belfast Project archive should remain confidential without any prejudice to law enforcement inquiries.”