Ed Moloney Press Statement - Dolours Price & Jean McConville

Press contact - Sabina Clarke: +1 215 509 2345; +1 215 908 7960

As is well known by now, a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) investigation in to the disappearance and death of Jean McConville in 1972 led in May last year to the serving of subpoenas by the U.S. Department of Justice on the Belfast Project oral history archive at Boston College. The subpoenas sought, inter alia, the interviews of Dolours Price, a former IRA activist from Belfast.

Lead IRA researcher Dr. Anthony McIntyre and myself have been fighting ever since to have the subpoenas dismissed in the courts on both sides of the Atlantic so as to  protect the confidentiality and safety of the interviewees and of Dr McIntyre and to safeguard First Amendment rights in the United States.

Since last weekend there have been two media reports, one in the British-based Sunday Telegraph newspaper, the other on CBS television news, implying or suggesting that admissions by Dolours Price to them of involvement in the McConville disappearance were also made in her interviews for the Belfast Project. It was a similar claim two years ago that this admission had figured in her Belfast project interviews that began this saga of the Boston College subpoenas.

The Sunday Telegraph/CBS reports conflict with and contradict an affidavit I lodged in the Belfast High Court recently saying that the McConville disappearance did not figure in those interviews. I wish to address this matter in this statement and put it to rest for once and for all.

Throughout this stressful and taxing legal and political fight, my priority has always been to safeguard the confidentiality and interests of those who participated. That remains my priority. But I also have the responsibility to clarify and correct errors when they occur.

Quite a few years have passed since Dolours Price was interviewed as part of the Belfast Project at Boston College and it has been during these recent years that her health has deteriorated in a quite alarming way. Without dwelling on the distressing details, which are well known to those familiar with her history and have been published elsewhere, it has been evident to us that her grasp of past events has deteriorated in proportion to her increased susceptibility to outside suggestions.

It has long been our conviction that it was these factors that led in the first place to the serving of the subpoenas in 2011. A newspaper report in February 2010 carried the same erroneous implication that she had talked about the McConville disappearance in the Belfast Project interviews as was carried this week in the Sunday Telegraph and CBS. The first report led directly to the subpoenas, the second set have served to seemingly justify them. But both are wrong.

So let me once again put the matter on record, with all the strength and force I can muster: Dolours Price did not mention Jean McConville nor talk about what had happened to her in her interviews for the Belfast Project at Boston College.

Let me make another couple of points. The hue and cry that has followed the recent media reports demonstrates that the warnings we gave at the outset of this affair that these subpoenas, unless curbed, could have the potential to cause a crisis for the peace process in Northern Ireland were well-founded. Some thought us alarmist at the time but I doubt if many believe that now.

The demands that have been made this week for arrests or resignations have the potential to imperil the survival of the power-sharing administration in Belfast as anyone familiar with Northern Ireland's politics knows full well. They also have the potential to significantly increase the threat to the lives of those who took part in the project, not least the project’s IRA researcher, Dr. Anthony McIntyre.

That all this is happening is the direct consequence of the failure of political leaders to create a mechanism to deal honestly and without feelings of vengeance with the past, to address the needs of victims in a way that does not imperil the future. The need to rectify that failure is now urgent.

The media reports this week also demonstrate that if the PSNI wishes to investigate this matter there are and have been many other avenues they can pursue without raiding the Boston College archive, infringing American First Amendment rights and placing Dr McIntyre’s life in peril and his family in danger. The Belfast Project archive could and should remain confidential without any prejudice to law enforcement inquiries.

Furthermore it is evident from the recent media reports that Jean McConville was taken into the Irish Republic by the IRA and since her remains were found on the southern side of the Border, it is also reasonable to assume she was killed in that territory. Why then are the authorities in the Irish Republic allowing the PSNI free rein over an investigation to which they arguably have a superior jurisdictional claim? Perhaps a question to this effect could be addressed to the government in Dublin?

Ed Moloney 


  1. Anthony ,Carrie,Ed, all I can say is keep in there, you may be punching away above your weight when you consider what forces are lined up against you,but from what I can see you are far from down and out,proof if needed that its not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog.

  2. If, as Ed has stated, Dolorse did not mention anything pertaining to Jean Mc Conville in her original interview for the Belfast project, Why is she making these damming statements, WHO is prompting her?.

    I believe Ed, because he knows what is in the interviews, and, to lie about that would be, to say the least, an end to his career.
    So lets hope everything turns out as hoped, and Obama gets re-elected and Kerry gets the post, and Kerry denies the psni request for the interviewees tapes.
    But, who are we to trust a politician, nomatter which country he/she comes from.
    Keep up the fight, if kerry wins and keeps to his word, you are on a winner. Good luck, Ed and Anthony, also the rest of your hard working team.

  3. Dolours Price has admitted taking part in actions that she never served time for- or got a very early realease for- she will be arrested charged and if found guilty setenced to prison for the rest of her life because she hung herself with her own words- ironic
    that Dolours will again be realeased early from prison-this time under the Good Friday Agreement- Go figure-

  4. Michaelhenry,

    in all of that no attempt to address the thorny question of just how British law enforcement is able to police the war in the past for which a political solution was agreed that in the words of Tony Blair turned the criminal justice system on its head.

    Do you think for a minute that old Stakeknife has not made revelations about which British law enforcement is unlikely to act on?

  5. AM-

    I am all for anyone telling about their past as long as they dont sent others to prison- one of the political soulutions was that people would serve two years if found guilty for a pre 1998 action-
    nobody knew that a couple of dirty dozen was going to sink themseves on tape and tell on others-
    Stakenife was only a tout that could not stop the big jobs in england-

  6. Mickeybroy no matter what is and has been said by Dolours,one thing is for certain that woman is unwell and deeply disgusted by the words of her former comrade Adams,the so called gfa has not provided any dividend for the nationalist people esp Marian Price and Martin Corey INTERNED just like so many in the 70,s only this time facilitated by quisling $inn £ein, the thing you should go-figure is how will your cringing carpetbaggers comrades deal with the fall out when the families of those hungers strikers who were let die needlessly realise just how conned they have been,just so that Adams and a few like yourself can have a cushy life.

  7. Michaelhenry,

    it still leaves unanswered the question of how your party has legitimised this policing of the past. Are you telling us it is right that British law enforcement should be allowed to police the war which is now over?

    You miss the point entirely about Stakeknife. He could, and no doubt has, told the British police about lots of killings which they are never going to follow up on. The British police know lots about FRU killers, RUC Special Branch killers, but they are never going to reveal it.

    How did such a situation come about? Was there not the promise of manners being put on the British police in the North?

    Surely you must be concerned about such an outcome

  8. `Stakeknife no doubt told the police about lots of killings and like his comrades in the mt Vernon crew killed a lot of people on behalf of same police,bombs going of in England could have been facilitated by s/b mi5 and all the while Adams was selling the pass,`

  9. Marty-

    mickeybroy- if we could not laugh we would cry-

    By most accounts Dolours has not been well since the late 70s but that did not stop her going to the states to blab all she knew about war and comrades-whats to stop the police from charging marion price for attending a clandestine meeting
    when the old bailey bomb was being organised thanks to what Dolours has now made public-how many others will be sunk by her words- there was 10.000 Republicans at this years march in Dungiven-you are swimming against the Republican tide with your problems about the Hunger-Strike-

  10. No problem Mickeybroy with the truth no matter from where it comes,I recall the majority of Germany supported Hitler did that mean they were right? Richard O Rawe has been well vindicated if people are to brainwashed or blind to see well that just makes the truth harder to get through but it will get there,I wonder if what Dolours has said comes anywhere near what those leaders of the prm have said to their brit counterparts.

  11. Michael Henry
    Stakenife was only a tout that could not stop the big jobs in england-

    Apparently the IRA's green book provides for regulation in relation to the fate of informers whereby a member of the IRA army council has to satisfy him or herself that an alledged informer is indeed an informer; and only that army council member can then pass sentence of death on the poor unfortunate being. At the rate of which "informers" were being killed and given the involvement of Stakeknife its not hard to extrapolate that the British could havw wiped out the whole of the Army council in one full swoop if they had wanted to do so.

  12. I very much welcome Ed Moloney's statement and with this in mind, and Dolours health problems, I do wonder what motivated a CBS journalist to place her in front of a TV camera. She has been used like a filthy rag with no thought or duty of care entering the equation.

    In many ways, the way a section of the media is treating Dolours Price mirrors how Mrs McConville was treated by the British army intel/whoever.

    Dolours Price is as much a victim of the 'troubles' as Mrs McConville and her children and we loose sight of this at our peril..

  13. Michaelhenry
    re: Dolorus Price comments.
    'how many others will be sunk by her words'
    Perhaps it is apt to remind you, that Dolorus' critical words are directed towards that treacherous cabal of British touts and lackeys that sent young volunteers to early graves, through active service and hunger strikes, in pursuance of an objective that these scum had never any intention of fulfilling.
    Notwithstanding the collateral damage of broken lives, suffering families and the diminution of the Republican cause, the bastards were lining their pockets all along.
    Personally.. I hope she sinks Adams and his whole 'coven of filth' that reside in the 'protestant parliament for a protestant people'.

  14. Mick and Truthrevisionist both posts couldnt be better said, both spot on

  15. michaelhenry.

    I am all for anyone telling about their past as long as they dont sent others to prison- one of the political soulutions was that people would serve two years if found guilty for a pre 1998 action-

    This has not been implimented!

    if it was then those still Interned ,"YES INTERNMENT IS BACK", would have been in front of a diplock judge and sentenced, and, do two years, You need to get a life Michael and take your blinkers of, The old saying goes, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but, You Can;t fool them all of the time".
    I have taken note of your comment that Dolours will be arrested!, Do you know something that others don't?, thats a very brave thing to say for a shinner!, I sincerely hope Dolours is not arrested, nor, anyone else for that matter, To many Stakeknife's in PSF, and, there still is to this very day, One your Leader and another is the deputy 1st minister, now think about that one, I remember the latter going to court and denying he was in the P.I.R.A. and he walked free from court, while others were still being locked up, Now you tell me the difference, It was unheard of for any republican to walk free from any court , so what privliges did he have?. Please don't take to long to think about it, and, take your blinkers of before you start thinking, after what we all went through, after all the secret meetings with MI5 by your top echelon, it makes me sake to the core, when i think of all the comrades who gave their lives, all the hunger strikers who needlesly died, innocent people executed because a tout said they were touts, and ,touts setting other touts up for execution, ffs you lot have a lot to answer for, but, time will tell, what goes around, comes around, Sweet Dreams Mickyboy!

  16. Eddie.

    " its not hard to extrapolate that the British could havw wiped out the whole of the Army council in one full swoop if they had wanted to do so."......

    That would have been the end of the top echelon of PSF!, including Adams , McGuinness etc.

  17. truthrevisionist

    'Personally.. I hope she sinks Adams and his whole 'coven of filth' that reside in the 'protestant parliament for a protestant people'

    i'll lose no sleep miself if that happens.

  18. truthrevisionist-

    " I hope she sinks Adams and his whole 'coven of filth' that reside in the 'protestant parliament for a protestand people "-

    Dolorus also named Ivor Bell last sunday in the paper-She is after all Republicans with her revenge not just those in Sinn Fein- you support this-at least we know what side you are on-

  19. Organized Rage says: 6:47 PM, September 27, 2012 Reply
    I very much welcome Ed Moloney's statement and with this in mind, and Dolours health problems, I do wonder what motivated a CBS journalist to place her in front of a TV camera

    I was wondering the very same thing ...

    Until the very next night when I was down the street at the corner bar and the bartender points to the tv saying "You're not gonna like this ..."

    And there on CBS on the LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN national broadcast is David Cameron.

    Now it might just be a coincidence, but ...

  20. truthrevisionist,

    'Personally.. I hope she sinks Adams and his whole 'coven of filth' that reside in the 'protestant parliament for a protestant people'

    Couldn't have put it better myself.

  21. I don't think Doloures embarked on this project to 'sink Adams' or anyone else.
    Are we now to believe Brendan intended to sink him?
    Scupper his ego trip and lies yes however, if sinking him means having him arrested and face British justice, no!
    How people who call themselves Republicans can even venture down this road of thinking I find astounding.

  22. fionuala

    The republican movement was full of people sinkin all round them. The leadership was infiltrated from immediately after the hungerstrikes and the 'vote-venture' i recon. [if not well before] Many areas had career touts in place and the movement was paralysed by 'blockers' like scap and conveyorbelt stackers. If Adams [who facilitated that for votes] gets burried, then happy days, best collateral damage i will ever have seen! Your sentiment is admirable, but a bit like preaching non-sectarianism to the UVF, hammered before ye start. Prefer to do something beneficial with my time.

  23. Fionnula Perry

    Just to remind you. Adams and his gangster cohorts ARE British Justice.

  24. Larry,
    I prefer to think of my sentiments as being Republican.
    I don't think your comments justify what you said, in fairness to you though you are not the only person advocating 'round them up'.
    I heard very disturbing comments in relation to advocating people passing on information.
    It's perfecting whooping it up when some-else's head is on the block.

    That makes it ok does it?
    Are we all to follow their lead and demand, people brought before the courts for former Republican activities. Because no matter how you dress this up, that what you are saying-despicable.

  25. Fionnuala

    Not advocating 'round-em-up' except when deliberately teasing and being naughty. As for your principles, admirable. But personally i have no misplaced loyalty to SF and it's leadership. Some amazing friends still have affinity/connections to SF but that is their choice. After all that has gone on for decades i am indifferent to what happens the 'sinners' [or what passes for SF] myself. That's all i'm saying.

  26. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8107230.stm