PLEDGE NOW

Judge Orders Release Of IRA Oral History Projects

A man walks past a wall daubed with Provisional IRA graffiti in the Unity Flats area of Belfast Tuesday Feb 13 1996. (AP)

A man walks past a wall daubed with Provisional IRA graffiti in the Unity Flats area of Belfast Tuesday Feb 13 1996. (AP)

A federal judge has ordered Boston College to turn over recorded interviews and transcripts of a former member of the IRA that were compiled by oral historians. At stake are promises of confidentiality, a criminal investigation overseas, and academic freedom.

The interviews were conducted as part of a Boston College oral history project called the Belfast Project, and many of the participants had been involved in some of the most violent episodes of what’s known as the Troubles in Northern Ireland. In exchange for their candor, BC promised them their interviews would remain sealed until their deaths.

But law enforcement officials in Northern Ireland have subpoenaed the materials as part of an investigation into a murder committed decades ago. On Wednesday, Federal Judge William Young ordered Boston College to comply.

Guests:

  • Ed Moloney, former director, the Belfast Project; author, “Voices from the Grave: Two Men’s War in Ireland”
  • Jack Dunn, director of news and public affairs, Boston College

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