Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (493)

Clare Daly

Question:

507 Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the decommissioning papers held in the Burns library at Boston College will be returned to Irish jurisdiction where they will be kept confidential as mandated by their 30 year embargo. [35150/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

Following the making of Orders by both Governments on 30 March 2011 dissolving the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, a decision was made by the Commission to lodge certain documents with Boston College. The decision is subject to an agreement that they will not be disclosed for 30 years.

As an independent body the Commission itself decided on these arrangements and consulted with both the Irish and UK Governments on the issue. The Commission's final report, submitted to the Government on 28 March 2011, detailed the arrangements which it had made for the storage of its documentation, including the most sensitive documentation relating to the inventory of decommissioned material. This latter was not among the material lodged with Boston College and is subject to other arrangements. The material lodged with Boston College is of a general nature.

The Commission made the relevant arrangements to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of its archive in the public interest and in the interests of the peace process. The documentation in question is, as I have already said, part of the records of an independent body. That body decided to lodge certain of its records with Boston College and it is not within my power to seek to have them returned to this jurisdiction.