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Ex-Provo investigated for attack that he was victim of, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 24/06/2016

A former IRA man interviewed for an American university project was the victim of a bomb attack for which he is now under investigation, the High Court was told yesterday
A former IRA man interviewed for an American university project was the victim of a bomb attack for which he is now under investigation, the High Court was told yesterday

A former IRA man interviewed for an American university project was the victim of a bomb attack for which he is now under investigation, the High Court was told yesterday.

Anthony McIntyre also alleged he was acquitted on a charge of membership of a proscribed organisation that formed part of a police attempt to gain access to his tapes from Boston College.

Judges in Belfast have now ordered the PSNI and Public Prosecution Service (PPS) to clarify the situation and explain how an International Letter of Request (ILOR) for the material also wrongly included an erroneous conviction for armed robbery.

McIntyre's legal bid to stop detectives listening to the tapes has been put on hold until explanations are provided and shared with American authorities.

With the case adjourned until September, PSNI officers due to travel to Boston on Saturday as part of a separate inquiry will not be able to take possession of the recordings.

Mr McIntyre, who is from Belfast but now lives in the Republic, was one of the main participants in the project to compile an oral history of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Loyalists and republicans provided testimonies to Boston College on the understanding their account would only be made public after they died.

Those assurances were dealt a blow when legal battles resulted in police securing transcripts and tapes of interviews given by former IRA woman Dolours Price and high-profile loyalist Winston "Winkie" Rea.

Now the authorities want access to Mr McIntyre's recorded recollection of his own IRA activities, and a subpoena seeking copies of his interviews has been served on Boston College.

Mr McIntyre's lawyers have issued judicial review proceedings against the PSNI and PPS for issuing the request letter.

In court it emerged that the alleged offences being investigated include a bomb explosion in 1976 and an imitation or toy pistol discovered inside a prison where he served time.

Ronan Lavery QC, for Mr McIntyre, claimed: "The ILOR is replete with errors, and that's putting it mildly."

Lord Justice Weatherup, sitting with Lord Justice Weir, described the situation as unsatisfactory and directed the PSNI and PPS to file a statement explaining the issues raised.

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