Latest on Boston College Tapes

Police and prosecutors have been given two weeks to provide reasons why recorded interviews with a former IRA man should not be sent back to America. High Court judges sitting in Belfast set the deadline in Anthony McIntyre's legal battle against police accessing his "Boston tapes". The tapes are candid interviews with loyalist and republican paramilitaries held in a library at Boston College. For the full story on this development click here.

No guarantee of confidentiality

An inquest opened in Belfast on November 30 to investigate the deaths of ten people killed in controversial circumstances in 1971. Yet despite a delay of over 40 years, the coroner was unable to set a date for a hearing due to the absence of funding.  This is not an isolated case. There are currently 56 cases involving 97 deaths in which the families of victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland are still waiting for inquests, of which 22 have been waiting for over 40 years. They include the families of those killed in some of the most controversial cases of the conflict, including the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 when ten people were allegedly shot by the British Army in West Belfast, and the Kingsmills Massacre in 1976 when ten protestant workmen were allegedly shot by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on their way home from work in South Armagh.  These so-called “legacy inquests” are simply one aspect of an ongoing battle over how to deal with the past in Northern Ireland.  The full story here.  Read another article addressing the issue here.

Boston College Oral History Project

After years of ongoing legal issues, Boston College’s (BC) Belfast Project is again in the news. The Project, launched in 2001, is an oral history collection consisting of recorded interviews from participants in Northern Ireland’s 30-year civil conflict known as the Troubles.  For full story click here.

Boston College Tapes – former IRA commander charged

A former IRA commander has been charged with one of the most horrific murders during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, based on information gathered by Boston College as part of an oral history project. Ivor Bell is awaiting trial in Belfast on charges he aided and abetted the murder of Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10 who in 1972 was abducted, shot, and secretly buried by the IRA after she was accused of being an informer.  For full story, click here.

Full story Boston College tapes

Anthony McIntyre made one thing clear: The project had to remain absolutely secret. If Boston College wanted him to interview former members of the Irish Republican Army, he needed that guarantee. They would be talking about dangerous things—bombings, shootings, and murder.  It was June of 2000, just two years after a controversial peace accord ended three decades of conflict in Northern Ireland. Mr. McIntyre, an independent historian, was having dinner at Deanes Restaurant, in the center of this small, working-class city, with an Irish journalist and a librarian from Boston College.  For complete story, including interview excerpts, click here.