New US Envoy On NI’s Past Means Boston College Case Must Be Suspended

Statement from Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre on the appointment of Dr Richard Haass as the new US special envoy to the North.

Following the appointment of former diplomat Richard Haass as new US special envoy to Northern Ireland, Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre call on the American and British authorities to suspend attempts to subpoena IRA interviews from the Belfast Project archive at Boston College until Dr Haass has completed his task of outlining an agreed and effective way to deal with the past.

We also call on the PSNI to similarly halt its criminal investigation of the Jean McConville disappearance.

We welcome the appointment of Dr Haass and hope that he succeeds in his task of creating a mechanism for dealing with the past that is not based on unconditional prosecutions. Pursuing the past by treating it as a series of crimes will deter and obstruct the search for truth while keeping the conflict alive in another guise. Failing to deal with the past in a way which neutralises it means that it will continue to haunt both the present and the future.

At the same time it is incumbent upon all parties to the conflict, paramilitary and security forces, from leaderships down to rank and file to commit themselves unalterably to the truth and make their records available to any investigatory process set up as a result of Dr Haass’s efforts. There must be openness and an end to implausible life stories. The dead and maimed of Northern Ireland deserve better.


  1. What chance has Hass or anyonelse here at uncovering the truth when prominent players in the whole dirty episode called the troubles are still lying to this day about the part they played, Adams and the brits alongside the leaders of unionism all have to much to hide,all brothers in arms on this one I,m afraid, Richard Hass is going to be nothing more than an expensive beaten docket.

  2. What chances Marty has Hass or anyone else finding out the truth...Zero.

    Historians, investigative journalists, thirty year rule probably. But a real T & R process where people hold their hands up and admit their part..I'll put it this way.....Anyone who thinks it (T&R) will happen is living in cloud cookoo land.

  3. For a T&R process to take place, the guilty party in the conflict must have been defeated. Even then, as we have seen in South Africa it does not take them long to get their feet back under the table, all be it wearing a different style of shoes.

    One only has to glance at a current map of the UK to understand who won the Provo's war, this is not a criticism just a fact. However to believe Perfidious Albion would then act in a fair and honourable way is to ignore 800 years of Irish history.

    Richard Hass may have many fine qualities, but as a diplomat of the empire, an honest broker he is not.

  4. Organised Rage,

    I think this is right. The defeat of the IRA meant that the British state were always going to be in the driving seat. The defeated could only hope to rely on goodwill rather than on political constraint as they did not have the necessary power (or squandered what they did have in career building) to change the game and build in constraints.

    Also truth should not be linked to reconciliation. It means the imperative of reconciliation will determine the nature or amount of the truth. There is no solid reason to think truth will reconcile any more than it will repel. What was learned throughout the peace process was that truth was something best considered parked to allow institutional reconciliation.

    Besides truth in the North is used for recrimination rather than reconciliation.

  5. No one will ever know the truth, The British will make sure of that.

    The only decent thing Hass could do , is, Pressure the british to Implement para 20 of the weston park accord

    I also don't think Adams has anything to worry about regarding the tape ruc/psni has obtained from BC.

  6. For a T&R process to take place, the guilty party in the conflict must have been defeated.

    That's the burning question Mick. Who exactly was the guilty party?

    Fair enough the provisional's were defeated to a large extent and guilty of murder. Loyalist paramilitaries were guilty murder, the British gov. the same, Irish gov guilty of doing nothing.....

    Who is/was the guilty party? For a T&R process to work, it's very simple. Everyone tells the truth. It's as uncomplicated as that. Will people be prepared to tell the truth?? That's a whole different ball park.

  7. I failed to mention all the state forces who are guilty of murder among other things..

  8. Frankie you also failed to mention that little bet a cara

  9. Marty I understand the little bet, I don't understand the relevance to it here.