Dolours Price

In Friday's Boston Globe newspaper, columnists Kevin Cullen states that he believes that the death of Dolours Price, the dissident Republican, meant that the issue of the Boston College IRA tapes was now over.

Price died of a suspected overdose in her Dublin home. She had suffered from mental health issues for many years.

The British government had been seeking the tapes in an attempt to link Gerry Adams to the murder of Jean McConville, an alleged IRA informer who was killed in Belfast in 1972.

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Price had apparently fingered Adams on the tapes but what use the word of a clearly ill woman would have been was never explained.        

Cullen’s point was well made; the death of Dolores Price means she cannot give evidence against Gerry Adams in court which was the main reason why the British government wanted to seize the tapes.

The tapes were part of the Boston College Project which was intended to be an oral history of The Troubles but quickly turned into a Gerry Adams witch hunt led by project director journalist Ed Moloney who clearly holds Adams in great contempt for daring to sign up to the peace process.

Despite the fact that the Boston College project was allegedly an historical one aimed at creating an oral an archive of The Troubles the British government decided that their long time vendetta against Gerry Adams could be well served by seizing the tapes.

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Cullen pointed that without Price the tapes are no longer useful to the British and they and the U.S. government should now reach an agreement that no further tapes will be sought.

The timing is perfect as I wrote here last week. The new Secretary of State, John Kerry, is on the record as opposing the British attempt to gain access to the tapes.  Now is the perfect time for Kerry to make clear to the British that they should give up their efforts to get the tapes.

The episode has been a sordid one from the beginning with the initial efforts to get Adams by the researchers followed by the British government efforts to use historical records to cause problems in the peace process.

There is enough death and destruction attached to The Troubles to last several lifetimes. Cherry picking cases or fomenting historical feuds is a waste of time

With the death of Dolours Price this episode can now be brought to an end. Hopefully John Kerry will take the opportunity to do so in no uncertain terms with the British.