US Authorities Subpoena Anthony McIntyre’s Boston College Oral History Archive On Behalf Of British

Ed Moloney and Wilson MacArthur issue a press release on the latest British state fishing expedition into the Boston College Oral History Archive.

PSNI Serve ‘Fishing Expedition’ Subpoena On Anthony McIntyre –
US Agrees To ‘Star Chamber’ Hearing In Blatant Abuse of Process
April 25th, 2016

We have just learned that the British government, acting on behalf of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (“PSNI”) and the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (“DPP”) in Belfast, have served a subpoena on Boston College seeking personal interviews given by Dr. Anthony McIntyre to the Belfast Project based at Boston College, Massachusetts.

The subpoena has been served under the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (“MLAT”) and the UK statute, the Crime International Cooperation Act 2003 (“CICA”).

Dr. McIntyre, who was lead IRA researcher for the Belfast project, gave a series of interviews himself which were conducted by a guest interviewer. Dr McIntyre has made no secret of this fact. He has now engaged leading Belfast human rights lawyer Kevin Winters of KRW Law LLP, to resist these efforts to raid his personal memoirs.


The subpoena request provides no details of specific charge, investigation or offence of which Dr. McIntyre is accused, no names of alleged victims, no dates, no places. Instead the originators of this shoddy document mention matters which are so overbroad, that literally anyone alive during the Troubles in Northern Ireland could be accused of some association with them.

We do know, in particular, that this request does not have anything to do with the disappearance and murder of Jean McConville, which was the event that motivated this PSNI trawl five years ago. Both the US District Court and the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit clearly deemed Dr. McIntyre’s interviews not to be relevant to the Jean McConville investigation.

Under the terms of the MLAT and CICA, which the authors of the subpoena claim as their legal basis for this action, requests for assistance from a foreign power may only be made where (a) there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed, and (b) proceedings have been instituted, or an offence is being investigated. There are no proceedings in being for any offences relating to Dr. McIntyre and there is no reason to believe that any current or historical offence is being investigated.

This action by the DPP and PSNI is simply a fishing expedition, which is prohibited by international law.


Boston College has been ordered to appear at the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in Boston at 10 a.m. on May 6th to deliver Dr. McIntyre’s interviews.

The DPP and PSNI have requested, and the Obama Department of Justice has agreed, to demand that Boston College keep these legal proceedings secret, away from the prying eyes of the international press. This Press Release puts paid to those nefarious efforts.

The gag notice means that the attempts of the British authorities once again to stifle academic research into the Troubles of Northern Ireland, an essential part of the peace process, was to be conducted entirely in secret like some modern day Star Chamber.

The use of secret courts offends every principle of legal fairness and openness inherent in the American legal system, as well as best international human rights practices, and we call on the media, in particular, whose First Amendment rights to cover such events are being undermined, to protest by turning up at the courthouse at 10:00 a.m. on May 6, 2016.
Secret courts and censored hearings smack of totalitarianism and they offend the public’s right to know.


The British authorities, the PSNI and the DPP have had more than ample time and opportunity to subpoena Dr. McIntyre’s materials before this. This begs the question, why are the authorities doing this now?

What is the real reason for this subpoena?

One explanation which leaps to mind is that this is an act of simple revenge, motivated by anger at the fact that the resistance to the subpoenas led by Dr. McIntyre embarrassed the prosecutorial authorities in Belfast, which have so far failed to bring any prosecution beyond the preliminary inquiry stage, never mind a successful conclusion to their well-publicized efforts in raiding and destroying a valuable Oral History archive. This is pay back, in other words.


Abuse of process is the only term to describe the treatment of Ivor Bell, who is the only individual charged following the receipt by the PSNI of Boston College materials. Mr. Bell has vigorously protested his innocence of any charges, and his case has not progressed past the preliminary inquiry stage after years of hearings.

Abuse of process is the only term to describe this latest move against Dr. McIntyre by the DPP and Obama’s DoJ. We therefore call on the Irish government not to co-operate with the British authorities should any effort be made to extradite Dr. McIntyre from his home in Drogheda to Belfast for the purposes of yet another futile and inordinately expensive “show trial.” We have sent a copy of this statement to the outgoing Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny and to the Fianna Fail leader, Micheal Martin TD.

We also call upon all decent-minded people in the US, politicians, lawyers, civil libertarians and members of the public to protest this disgraceful action by the Department of Justice. We call upon progressive candidates seeking nomination for the US Presidency to make their views clear on this matter.


This subpoena differs from all previous requests which were directed at the subjects of academic research. This subpoena is directed at an academic researcher, solely on the grounds that he attempted to record an alternative version of history. The implications for the rest of American academe are incontestable. What was it Pastor Niemoller said?
‘First they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist…..Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.’
Accordingly we appeal firstly to the Trustees of Boston College to support any legal effort to resist this subpoena. This is a matter which could adversely affect everyone teaching on Boston College’s campus. We would like to extend that appeal to the rest of American academe and ask the researchers and teachers of Higher Education in America to recognise the seriousness of this threat to researchers everywhere by making your opposition to this subpoena loud and clear.

This is a matter which directly affects academic freedom in America. This is not a time for silence or acquiescence.

Ed Moloney, former director Belfast Project
Wilson McArthur, lead UVF researcher for the Belfast Project


  1. You shouldn't have to shoulder this legal cost by yourself, have you thought of starting a gofundme page? Or perhaps just donate throught this site in the meantime?

  2. I saw Raymond McCartney bleating on RTE-1 the other day about historical cases and disclosure and truth regarding the British authorities involvement in the conflict here. When one considers 2 years in a single cell, with remote control TV and all the home comforts is the height of any potential sentence resulting from RUC dirt digging, maybe SF and McCartney should get their wish and the truth process can begin in earnest with the Boston College Archive release? I'm more than happy to visit you Makers, no stress.

    Everyone is yapping about truth, bring it on!!

  3. This is next level bullshit - secret courts in the United States ' the land of the free' at the behest of a questionable police force and sectarian tainted dpp ??

    I agree with the above sentiment about fundraising for a defense. Academics and activists alike should be wary of all the implications If this supoena !!

    Sorry you have to put up with this ...... Again .....

  4. Be some craic if loyalist contributors had mentioned collusion or damaging info for the RUC.
    Conjugal visits not included in the offer BTW.

  5. Not much changed there then Larry!

  6. Can the Boston College be taken up for breaking of agreement not to divulge contents? It seems a clear breach of the agreement? These tapes as, all oral evidence, is so important for history and truth. I wish you luck

  7. Larry,

    Whether the Loyalist contributors did or not mention collusion is irrelevant, we all know it happened. This whole business smacks of sheer pettiness, and little else.

    Conjugal visits? Sure Adair and McCrory made do just fine!!!

  8. Strangely enough Mackers I am reading a book at the moment called 'The Squad and the intelligence operations of Michael Collins' by T. Ryle Dwyer. The back cover states that The Bureau of Military History interviewed those involved in this scheme in the early 1950s with the assurance that the material would not be published in their lifetimes[...]
    [...] This is the first book to make use of those interviews for the period of the War of Independence.

    And of course Ernie O'Malley carried out similar interviews with former members of the IRA which were later published in book form.

    Surely the Leinster House Government has to stand over your right to do as O'Malley and the Bureau of Military History did or declare the work of both as having been illegal?

  9. Mackers

    The relentless harassing of yourself is politically motivated in the guise of chasing after Adams. It is the RUC troubles MO continued where things are usually the opposite of what they are presented as being. It is becoming tiresome, especially when big Bobby ('teligence ossifer) can't even see through the scam. Maybe the sooner the lid is lifted the better. Throw it all out there, I for one am convinced the RUC/UK government come out of this far worse than anyone else. FAR WORSE. It will make Patton look overly nice where they are concerned. Hope you are keeping well and as stress free as possible BTW big man.

    Steve Ricardos

    After the recent same sex referendum I think it is unfair to drag the Mad Dog Adair and McCrory into the argument. Their continued romance and 'dogging'in bonny scooterland should be respected these days!

  10. BC tapes is the gift that keeps on giving.

  11. mackers, if u joined sf, all this mite stop.