The wife of an ex-IRA prisoner involved in the Boston College archive tapes is asking Irish police to investigate her claims that her phone and email communications are being spied on.
Carrie Twomey, who claims that her family is being subjected to electronic surveillance, is the wife of Anthony McIntyre, who recorded and collated the recorded testimonies of dozens of former IRA activists for the Boston College-Belfast Project.
Some of the testimonies claimed that Gerry Adams ordered the death and secret disappearance of mother-of-ten Jean McConville in 1972. Adams has always denied any involvement in McConville’s death, but since the Sinn Fein president was arrested earlier this month and questioned by detectives about the murder, McIntyre and the founder of the project, Ed Moloney, have been verbally abused for being informers.
Twomey, who works as a blogger and writer, told the Guardian that she was certain her phone and internet communications had been subject to “illegal privacy violations.”
She said the contents of a recent communication between herself and the US embassy had been leaked to a Belfast newspaper.
"I haven't a clue who precisely is carrying out the surveillance – it might be the NSA in the States, GCHQ in Britain or even the Provisional IRA's spying department. But whoever is doing it this is an offence in Irish law and I want the Garda to take it seriously."
She said she believes that the alleged surveillance was linked to a recent announcement that police in Northern Ireland planned to seize all of the Boston College-Belfast Project tapes, even those not related to the McConville murder, which the police are holding in Belfast.
Ed Moloney has urged the US government to resist police demands that remaining tapes be sent to Belfast.
He has said that to allow a raid on "an American college's private archive will be to undermine a peace deal that was in no small way the product of careful American diplomacy and peace building. The United States has the power to invoke vital foreign policy interests in order to reject this PSNI action."
"I also called upon Boston College to vigorously resist this action and to rally the rest of American academia in the cause of research confidentiality."
Everyone who took part in the Belfast Project agreed to do so on the condition that the recordings would not be released until they were dead. Now both former IRA members and ex loyalist paramilitaries, are involved in legal action to take back their recordings.
Twomey said: "These claims now circulating are a direct result of a phone conversation I had with the embassy on Wednesday May 14, 2014 and subsequent email correspondence sent Thursday, May 15, 2014, in which I highlighted the heightened risk to our safety and the safety of the participants in the project as a result of Sinn Féin's orchestration.
"That contents/aspects of our communication, however inaccurately spun, appeared days later in a Sunday tabloid is a matter of serious concern, not least because of the privacy violations and increased risk it indicates.
"I have requested from the [US]state department a formal investigation into how information that I had raised our safety with the embassy last week ended up in the papers. Either our phone/email is compromised, or the embassy's communications are, and/or there has been a serious breach of protocol and illegal privacy violations have occurred."
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