Did Gerry Adams ‘Felon Set’ Ivor Bell To The PSNI?

Ed Moloney with a piece that initially featured on The Broken Elbow on 6 May 2014.

Will Gerry Adams appear as a witness against Ivor Bell in his trial on charges of aiding and abetting the murder of Jean McConville?

That is the question that leaps out of a statement issued by Mr Adams yesterday that was critical of Boston College’s Belfast Oral History Project but in the process also apparently identified Ivor Bell as the mysterious interviewee known only as ‘Z’.
In the statement Adams says that Anthony McIntyre’s “interview with Ivor Bell”, along with other interviews with the late Brendan Hughes and Dolours Price, “formed the mainstay of my arrest last week.” Since Bell has not admitted to being ‘Z’ and the PSNI concede they must still positively identify this person, Adams’ statement could be of invaluable assistance to the prosecution.

Bell was arrested and charged in March in connection with the disappearance of Jean McConville, the widowed mother of ten abducted and shot dead by the IRA on foot of allegations that she was an informer. But in bail appearances the police admitted they could not yet positively identify Bell as interviewee ‘Z’, whose interview was handed over by Boston College to the US government acting on behalf of the PSNI.

It became clear that Bell had not admitted being ‘Z’ during questioning and that the PSNI would therefore have to prove that the two were one and the same before they could even mount a prosecution case against him.

The reason why the PSNI cannot yet positively identify Bell is that Boston College has lost the donor contracts for ‘Z’, which would have identified the interviewee in a document signed and dated for each interview.

Collection of the contracts was the job of Boston College librarian Bob O’Neill who was supposed to collect the contracts from Ireland and ferry them by hand to Boston for safekeeping. These were the only documents which identified the interviewees. But for reasons which have yet to be made clear, O’Neill misplaced ‘Z’s’ contracts as well as an unknown number of other contracts. These include the contract for Dolours Price.

Adams’ statement definitively refers to an interview with “Ivor Bell” which was presented to him for a response and since this appears to identify Bell as ‘Z’, two questions immediately arise.

The first is: did Adams identify Bell in his four days of interviews with the PSNI? The second: will Adams’ statement identifying Bell be admissable in court as evidence that ‘Z’ is in fact Ivor Bell?

This raises the intriguing and dramatic possibility that Gerry Adams, a former Belfast Commander of the IRA, will be called to testify against one of his closest friends and a senior colleague in the Belfast IRA. A number of reports have said that Bell was in fact Adams’ number two during the early 1970′s.

It would be a dramatic and unprecedented development which could place Adams, as far as many republicans are concerned, in the place which Sinn Fein is saying is now occupied by the Boston College interviewees, as “touts”, or informers.

Here is the full statement issued by Gerry Adams yesterday via 4ni.co.uk. The reference to Ivor Bell, which the PSNI and the prosecution service are likely to seize on, is in the penultimate paragraph:
Everyone has the right to record their history but not at the expense of the lives of others.
The Boston College Belfast Project was flawed from the beginning. It was conceived by Lord Paul Bew. He proposed Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre despite the fact that both individuals were extremely hostile to myself, Sinn Fein, the peace process and the political process.
I was not and am not aware of any republican or member of Sinn Fein in support of the peace process who were approached by Anthony McIntyre to be interviewed. On the contrary, the individuals so far revealed as having participated are all hostile to Sinn Fein. On RTE last Sunday Anthony McIntyre was forced to concede that perhaps two out of the twenty-six people he interviewed were not anti-Sinn Fein.
This flawed project was exposed when Ed Moloney chose to capitalise on the death of Brendan Hughes and write a book called, ‘Voices From The Grave’. No republicans, including myself, who were slandered in that book were offered the opportunity before publication to rebut the allegations made against them. Ed Moloney needs to explain that decision. He also needs to explain why, after the project officially closed, he returned to Ireland in 2011 and asked Dolours Price, whom he had currently described as mentally unwell and suffering from PTSD, to be interviewed on DVD, a DVD which he then lodged in the archive. It is that interview, Anthony McIntyre’s interview with the late Brendan Hughes and his interview with Ivor Bell, which formed the mainstay for my arrest last week.
I welcome the end of the Boston Belfast Project, indicated by the College’s offer to now return the interviews to the interviewees before the securocrats who cannot live with the peace seek to seize the rest of the archive and do mischief.


  1. The interviews should possibly be privately returned to those who gave them and then released by family at a time of their own choosing. Surely Gerry Adams isn't the only one who can be permitted to write a book?

  2. Gerry Adams is not the real victim here

    (from Sunday life..Suzanne Breen)

    Seething statements from senior party figures threatening all sorts of repercussions, street protests, and new murals honouring the great "leader, peacemaker and visionary". Is this Northern Ireland or North Korea?

    Martin Corey spent four years in Maghaberry prison without charge, and Marian Price was two years in solitary confinement, without any such shenanigans from Sinn Féin. Some republicans must be more equal than others.

    No grand conspiracy is underway. Martin McGuinness's far-fetched tale of the "dark side" in the security forces colluding with "malicious republicans" is ludicrous.

    Indeed the "dark side", in the shape of the intelligence services, have kept Sinn Féin leaders safe for decades.

    Why isn't Martin McGuinness standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Matt Baggott on Jean McConville as he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Hugh Orde on Massereene?

    Sinn Féin called for information to be given to the cops after the murders of police officers Stephen Carroll and Ronan Kerr.

    Yet Falls Road graffiti brands those republicans who have disclosed information on Jean McConville's murder as "touts"? Aren't they just following Sinn Féin policy?

  3. Adams mentioning of Bell in a public statement is preparation for what is yet to come.....recall, that it was he who rebuked Storey and MCGuinness by unequivocally stating his support for the PSNI upon his release.....would he give evidence against Bell....that rebuke of Storey and McGuinness would seem to imply it.

  4. I had just listened to Anthony’s interview with Marian Finucane recorded last Saturday and I must say I was surprised how frank and forth write the interview was that Anthony gave. If Boston College know about the existence of the MLAT, between Britain and America, then they must be quite native or stupid to think that the NIPS would want procession of the tapes once knew they existed.

    In my opinion the Boston College Project was an honest attempt to give a voice to these that participated during the ‘troubles’ and its loss to society will be incalculable. No amount of ranting by Sinn Fein members that is was a ‘touting’ exercise will every change that fact.

  5. I for one have long believed that Adams is an agent possibly turned after being beaten in Castlereagh,possibly shown evidence that the da and bro were sexual deviants just to help him on the way, others have argued that he may have been turned by agents of influence like the priest Reid and others, an inflated ego would be easily open to suggestion,and they dont come much bigger than the quisling $inn £einds president for life, its long been assumed that the prm were infiltrated way above Scap and even wee Dennis, given the way the movement was taken apart so effectively and comprehensively that it seems to me that its no big stretch of the imagination to suggest that those two wasters at the helm of the movement for so long are more than a protected species I,d say that they were active assets,who will without a blink of an eye sell their parents to save their skins and in Adams case he already has .

  6. Given how carefully stage managed everything is by PSF & how every statement given by Adams is carefully scripted, the chances are that this was a deliberate identifying of Bell and not a slip of the tongue. Given the rabid, blind support that Adams can rely upon from the automatons in PSF, this has to be another veiled (or not so veiled) threat that anyone who opposing their world view will be hung out to dry or worse.

    To those of you who are ex-volunteers and activists you have my admiration for not being silenced as you are obviously up against sinister people with sinister secret double lives who have a lot of power at their disposal (or at least at the disposal of those who protect and manage them).

  7. marty, if he wasnt turned, hes the shitest politician in history.

  8. Marty

    really couldn't have put that better , spot on.


    Stop that!! I'm near having an asthma attack and I don't even have asthma.

  9. I don’t believe Adams made a slip of the tongue there was no need to mention Ivor Bell.
    Adams deliberately names Bell or should I says “touts” in his way of saying don’t look at me about the McConville case Ivor Bell is just one of the many anti-SF, anti-peace, who all conspired to get Adams.
    Adams had no need to mention anyone then again his old habit seems to surface in public this time adding to the cop’s case against Ivor Bell.

    Definitely no slip on his part but a direct warning to others that Adams has no problem with naming people to protect himself and then the lesser to protect the party.

  10. Before I began reading the Quill I was pretty much adrift politically. The piss-process and media blanket praise of all and sundry concerned with it and blanket smothering of any attempt at even questioning it left me really in the dark and adrift which was only intensified by my confusion and resignation. Must Say initially I thought Susan Breen was 'mixing' which is an indication of how far I had deviated from genuine 'thinking-politics'. She's a welcome reputable little light-house at times in the blackout politics of norn iron these days. Long may she continue.

  11. and shes a fine thing too.

  12. Grouch

    would you possibly be alluding to the fact she is 'easy on the eye' perchance?

  13. yes. in a word.

  14. Grouch,

    Is that 'yes' a 'yes' to Gerry Adams felon setting Ivor Bell, Ms Breen or both?

  15. frankie, i dont know does adams know what hes at anymore, i think hes a sandwich short of a picnic meself, id luv to be a fly on the wall if those two lads were having a little tete a tete. at the end of the day, its all a right load of shi*e. and yeah i always liked ur one.