Belfast Telegraph

Boston tapes journalist Ed Moloney raps Sinn Fein claims as 'paranoia'

By David Young

The director of an oral history project on the Troubles – part of which was relied upon by police to quiz Gerry Adams – has rejected any suggestion it was set up to "get" the Sinn Fein president.

New York-based journalist Ed Moloney insisted Mr Adams' vocal criticism of the Boston College-backed endeavour was based on "almost complete ignorance", as he had not seen the contents of the archive.

"In the past few days a concerted attack has been made on the integrity of the Belfast Oral History Project, led by the leadership of Sinn Fein, in which the claim has been made that this was a 'get Gerry Adams' enterprise designed to embarrass and discomfort Mr Adams," he said.

"I wish to refute this allegation in the strongest possible terms."

The Belfast Project at Boston College involved interviewing more than 25 former paramilitaries on their recollections of the Troubles on the understanding their accounts would not be made public until after their deaths.

But that assurance was undermined when a US judge ordered that audio tapes that referenced the 1972 murder Jean McConville be handed over to the PSNI.

After four days of questioning at Antrim police station, Mr Adams claimed most of the evidence detectives presented to him about Mrs McConville's death was based on allegations levelled by project interviewees.

Mr Moloney worked on the archive with former IRA member turned writer Anthony McIntyre.

Boston College has now offered to return the material to those individuals who have given interviews.

Mr Adams welcomed the indication from the college that the tapes would be handed back.

"Everyone has the right to record their history, but not at the expense of the lives of others," he said.

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