Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (49, 59)

Micheál Martin

Question:

49. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the release of the Boston College papers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22178/14]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

59. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views regarding threats and use of provocative labels such as touts being made against persons who co-operated with the Boston College tapes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22705/14]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 59 together.

In March 2011 the British Government, acting on behalf of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, initiated proceedings with the US Department of Justice under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the two countries for the release of selected archived interviews held in Boston College. The archives are part of the Belfast Project, an oral history of Republican and Loyalist former paramilitaries compiled by Mr Anthony McIntyre and Mr Ed Moloney and deposited in the College. Legal challenges were launched by Boston College, and separately by Mr McIntyre and Mr Moloney, to prevent the release of the material. In December 2011, these challenges were dismissed by US District Court Judge William Young. A further legal challenge was made by Mr McIntyre and Mr Moloney. On 6 July 2013, the US Federal Court of Appeal turned down their appeal.

In accordance with the court ruling, archived material was handed over by Boston College to the US authorities for onward transmission to their British counterparts. Issues arising from this matter are currently the subject of legal proceedings and in these circumstances I do not wish to comment any further. I call on all to respect due process and to refrain from further comment or speculation. I strongly condemn threats and provocative labelling arising from this or any other case.