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Ireland's Taoiseach Urges Gerry Adams To Co-Operate With Police

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http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/03/taoiseach-gerry-adams-police-sinn-fein-jean-mcconville

Ireland's prime minister has indicated Dublin will provide no political support for Sinn Féin in its opposition to Gerry Adams's arrest over the murder of the IRA victim Jean McConville.

The taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said on Friday night he was more concerned about the safety of McConville's children, some of whom have expressed fears they would be killed if they passed on the names of the IRA unit which they say kidnapped their mother in December 1972.

During the peace process from the IRA ceasefire 20 years ago until the restoration of power-sharing in 2007, successive Irish governments have been accused of secretly urging the British and US administrations to turn a blind eye to continuing republican violence, much of it directed against their own communities in Northern Ireland.

But Kenny called on Adams to provide any information he has about the McConville killling as the former West Belfast MP spends another day in police custody being questioned over the woman's murder and secret burial during the bloodiest year of the Troubles.

I wonder why the Irish govt is seeking to distance itself from Sinn Fein?

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The PM's party has always been an enemy of the IRA.

Interesting to see how this plays out for SF - I doubt Adams will be charged, so it could be a boost to his party. But the association with the horror of that murder is hard to mitigage.

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Report on radio 4 this am suggested that SF is a resurgent party in the South and stands a very good chance of gaining power going forward.

The up and coming young stars don't carry as much baggage as the weirdly beardy one. There is political shenanigans in play but for once the UK government are not behind it.

Next up will be the news that McGuinness was the best 'tout' the British Army ever had.

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God, interrogating gerry adams. Bet thats fun. Think i'd rather repeatedly hit myself on the head with a hammer.

The fact plod have kept him this long means they have something compelling and probably enough to charge him.

The delay is the politico's arguing yes/no charge him, deals are being discussed behind closed doors hence the intervention of the Irish PM.

If they do charge him then expect charges to be laid against some Para's who let rip in Londonderry in 1972. This is all part of the same dance.

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Absolutely made my day to see Adams arrested B)

If he did play any part in that horrible & unwarranted murder then I can only hope he goes down for it. McGuinness is already making serious threats, illustrating a leopard doesn't change it's spots. And how embarrassing this is beginning to look for the Queen. Apparently she enjoys some tea and biscuits with terrorists these days.

No one wants to go back to the troubles, obviously. But I never understood how a terrorist organisation was forgiven so easily. Sinn Fein/IRA didn't adhere to democracy in any shape or form. Communities were terrorised by these people. Instead of protesting through civilised channels they made the decision to take up arms and become murderous criminals. And in the end their plan actually worked.

Uh oh, I made another emotive post .. :unsure:

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The fact plod have kept him this long means they have something compelling and probably enough to charge him.

That something compelling just happens to be right in my area of professional expertise, for once! Not often that archivists specialising in oral history become the subject of a major news story, but they certainly have in this case.

The "something compelling" is a collection of oral history tapes made by a small private university in Boston with longstanding links to the IRA's fundraisers and cheerleaders in the US. In the early '00s, a researcher interviewed several dozen former IRA terrorists on tape, under the terms of a deal in which the university whose library would archive them undertook to keep them sealed until after the death of both the interviewees and everyone they implicated in the recordings.

Somehow, and we don't know exactly how - the Police Service of Northern Ireland became aware of the existence of these tapes and an idea of what their contents might be. They then used Interpol and/or international diplomatic procedures to have the college forced to hand them over as evidence in a criminal investigation. Under US federal and/or Massachussetts law (again, the exact legal mechanism by which the disclosure of these tapes was forced has not emerged - all we know is that there was one), they were required to comply.

In some ways I find this highly amusing. The US authorities have been throwing the weight of a US-UK treaty around to secure the extradition of people like Gary McKinnon and the NatWest Three, but now they've been hoisted by their own petards when the Brits used a similar international agreement to nab an individual (Adams) who is regarded as a folk hero by the Democrat/Boston Brahmin establishment.

In others, however, I am appalled at the incompetence that has gone on here. As someone who has handled (i.e. digitised) recordings that contain legally sensitive content, both in relation to civil and criminal issues, the first thought that entered my head was that when the college authorised the signing of an agreement in which they undertook to conceal possible criminal evidence from the authorities, did they have a lawyer advise them on whether they were legally allowed to do this? Quite apart from the ethical aspects, that would be attempting to pervert the course of justice, pure and simple, if any UK library, archive or university gave such an undertaking.

The long and the short of it is that the IRA terrorists who agreed to be interviewed probably believed that because the tapes would be archived outside the jurisdiction in which their alleged offences were committed, that they were safe from any possibility of them being used in evidence against them, or anyone they implicated in the interviews. Clearly the organisers of this project either failed to check out whether this was true or not, and/or believed that they were quite simply above the law.

Why the UK authorities are now seemingly serious about trying to prosecute Adams is another, very interesting question, especially given the potential of any such action to derail the 'peace process'. But the oral history and archiving ethics aspect of this story is really what interests me, specifically the fact that such a basic failure of due diligence could have happened on such a sensitive and controversial project.

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The long and the short of it is that the IRA terrorists who agreed to be interviewed probably believed that because the tapes would be archived outside the jurisdiction in which their alleged offences were committed, that they were safe from any possibility of them being used in evidence against them, or anyone they implicated in the interviews. Clearly the organisers of this project either failed to check out whether this was true or not, and/or believed that they were quite simply above the law.

Why the UK authorities are now seemingly serious about trying to prosecute Adams is another, very interesting question, especially given the potential of any such action to derail the 'peace process'. But the oral history and archiving ethics aspect of this story is really what interests me, specifically the fact that such a basic failure of due diligence could have happened on such a sensitive and controversial project.

Clipped & emphasis mine.

Time line

http://linkis.com/dlvr.it/KjPrM

2010: The first "voice from the grave" to be heard on the Belfast Project tapes is Brendan "The Dark" Hughes, an IRA icon and former hunger striker who makes the first public allegation that Gerry Adams as a fellow IRA commander ordered the death of Jean McConville and that she be secretly buried so that her death could not be blamed on the organisation.

2011: The Police Service of Northern Ireland begins what turns out to be a successful court battle in the US to seize other taped testimonies it believes are relevant to the McConville murder inquiry.

November 2013: A BBC/RTE documentary broadcasts further accusations against Adams being central to the orders that led to McConville's death. On the programme Adams denies the claims and states that he was never in the IRA.

March 2014: One of the IRA's negotiators with the British government in 1972, Ivor Bell, is arrested and charged with aiding and abetting the murder. The case against him rests upon taped testimonies for Boston College although Bell denies all the charges.

April 2014: The PSNI arrest Adams and question him about the McConville killing. Adams continues to insist he knew nothing about the murder and stresses again shortly before walking into Antrim police station that he was not even in the IRA.

Is it normal, regular practice for information regarding a truly disgusting murder to be voiced in another country, then kept from the victims family and the authorities responsible for justice?

edited to quote as reply not working.

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The authoritative site detailing how the oral record was brought about. Shame about the due diligence at the end of it though.... :) They really should cross those 'T's and dot those 'i's when they put this sort of stuff on record. Makes for a good read and the idea behind it was sound irrespective of whatever side of the conflict you were on.

http://chronicle.com/article/Secrets-from-Belfast/144059/

The lifting of Adams was just the next stage. There has been around 10 arrests already over the last few weeks into the McConville murder.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/jean-mcconville-two-women-arrested-in-connection-with-ira-killing-released-pending-report-30196019.html

All that said there is definatley some political posturing going on here. Adams does not have many friends in the current Irish government and many would like to see him gone.

SF are looking to enter a new phase and have a real chance of gaining power in the South. But they can only do it with people unburdened of the troubles in the North.

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Very interesting.

I've heard abou the Boston interviews, but didn't realise they fingered Adams. So there is a chance he'll be charged, but the evidence is hearsay - the interviewees will have to testify live in court.

My guess: prosecution will die on the vine, but the Sinn Fein leadership will change. Mary Lou MacDonald?

My take is that SF have a lot in common with UKIP, but with an outright national socialist agenda.

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Is it normal, regular practice for information regarding a truly disgusting murder to be voiced in another country, then kept from the victims family and the authorities responsible for justice?

I don't know of any other case like this.

IMHO the Boston college could potentially be in serious trouble, if relatives of the IRA murder victims try to bring a civil case against it on the basis that the institution conspired to prevent evidence in its custody from reaching the authorities.

I do know that it is standard practice for researchers working on TV and radio programmes dealing with crimes committed by and/or against people who are still alive to warn interview subjects that they may be required by law to hand over footage to the authorities. Making recordings that are intended to be shelved until after the subjects' deaths is a slightly different situation ethically (an interview for a TV documentary is intended to be published almost immediately, but these oral history recordings weren't), but the same one legally.

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I don't know of any other case like this.

IMHO the Boston college could potentially be in serious trouble, if relatives of the IRA murder victims try to bring a civil case against it on the basis that the institution conspired to prevent evidence in its custody from reaching the authorities.

I do know that it is standard practice for researchers working on TV and radio programmes dealing with crimes committed by and/or against people who are still alive to warn interview subjects that they may be required by law to hand over footage to the authorities. Making recordings that are intended to be shelved until after the subjects' deaths is a slightly different situation ethically (an interview for a TV documentary is intended to be published almost immediately, but these oral history recordings weren't), but the same one legally.

American law is of course somewhat different, no doubt the 'participants' thought they were outside UK legal jurisdiction, given no doubt all sorts of legal assurances which we now know have turned out to be worthless. That said it may be only the records of already deceased persons have been handed over.

Even if they have an other(s) on tape pointing the finger at Adams these person(s) may already be dead, we simply do not know what tapes the PSNI have got. I suspect they already have evidence pointing at him (perhaps a statement from one (or more) of the children) and the tapes simply confirm this.

Is this enough to convict? That would be for a jury to decide.

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Very interesting.

I've heard abou the Boston interviews, but didn't realise they fingered Adams. So there is a chance he'll be charged, but the evidence is hearsay - the interviewees will have to testify live in court.

My guess: prosecution will die on the vine, but the Sinn Fein leadership will change. Mary Lou MacDonald?

Agreed

Sinn Fein will not want to see Adams prosecuted but both he and his family have become a bit of a political liability to them

They may be quite keen to see him 'retired'.

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Agreed

Sinn Fein will not want to see Adams prosecuted but both he and his family have become a bit of a political liability to them

They may be quite keen to see him 'retired'.

Oh of course - the brother.

I haven't followed MLM, but my impression is she got the banking collapse spot on in public opinion.

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I'm from Northern Ireland; growing up it was general knowledge that Gerry Adams was an IRA member, and whilst he might not have pulled a trigger, did 'order' killings.

I'm no fan of Gerry Adams, but this is a very very risky move by the PSNI unless they are pretty much certain that they can charge him with this. If they do (which they should if he is involved), it's going to cause quite the shitstorm, and will obviously make world news.

However, if they don't, and he is released without charge, we will never hear the end of it. The event will be used to drum up support amongst republican circles as proof of police corruption, for decades, make no mistake. We'll be hearing "what about the time they arrested Gerry" as a key piece of 'whataboutery'-style ammunition 10 years from now.

As morbid as this is, I think it'll be a big bonus when those who were involved or around in the troubles; Gerry Adams, Ian Paisley et al, have all died off. I think things will get better with each new generation.

From what I can see most people in NI get along just fine, and it's the minority that make the news. Belfast is as safe as any other city in the UK, probably safer than most.

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http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/03/taoiseach-gerry-adams-police-sinn-fein-jean-mcconville

I wonder why the Irish govt is seeking to distance itself from Sinn Fein?

well I guess what really needs to happen now is for some IRA operatives to be apprehended on the US/Mexico border along with some iranians/palestinians and a couple of vials of biological agent.

that will really piss off the US,subsequent funding to the IRA after 9/11 crumbled...the yanks realised that even after all those years in support on them, it's not very nice when it happens to you.)

such an incident would completely obliterate any support base over the pond

.and they will be under no illusion then that these people are dangerous thugs that really do pose a threat.(yes they are fanatics...basically the pre-reformation sort who would like to rule by fear and spanish inquisition)

the IRA were HEAVILY involved with the libyans(semtex etc), and they are also with hamas and hezbollah.

perhaps then ireland can break free of these disgusting people.

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I'm from Northern Ireland; growing up it was general knowledge that Gerry Adams was an IRA member, and whilst he might not have pulled a trigger, did 'order' killings.

I'm no fan of Gerry Adams, but this is a very very risky move by the PSNI unless they are pretty much certain that they can charge him with this. If

From what I can see most people in NI get along just fine, and it's the minority that make the news. Belfast is as safe as any other city in the UK, probably safer than most.

I do hope these "troubles" do not come back!

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That something compelling just happens to be right in my area of professional expertise, for once! Not often that archivists specialising in oral history become the subject of a major news story, but they certainly have in this case.

The "something compelling" is a collection of oral history tapes made by a small private university in Boston with longstanding links to the IRA's fundraisers and cheerleaders in the US. In the early '00s, a researcher interviewed several dozen former IRA terrorists on tape, under the terms of a deal in which the university whose library would archive them undertook to keep them sealed until after the death of both the interviewees and everyone they implicated in the recordings.

Somehow, and we don't know exactly how - the Police Service of Northern Ireland became aware of the existence of these tapes and an idea of what their contents might be. They then used Interpol and/or international diplomatic procedures to have the college forced to hand them over as evidence in a criminal investigation. Under US federal and/or Massachussetts law (again, the exact legal mechanism by which the disclosure of these tapes was forced has not emerged - all we know is that there was one), they were required to comply.

In some ways I find this highly amusing. The US authorities have been throwing the weight of a US-UK treaty around to secure the extradition of people like Gary McKinnon and the NatWest Three, but now they've been hoisted by their own petards when the Brits used a similar international agreement to nab an individual (Adams) who is regarded as a folk hero by the Democrat/Boston Brahmin establishment.

In others, however, I am appalled at the incompetence that has gone on here. As someone who has handled (i.e. digitised) recordings that contain legally sensitive content, both in relation to civil and criminal issues, the first thought that entered my head was that when the college authorised the signing of an agreement in which they undertook to conceal possible criminal evidence from the authorities, did they have a lawyer advise them on whether they were legally allowed to do this? Quite apart from the ethical aspects, that would be attempting to pervert the course of justice, pure and simple, if any UK library, archive or university gave such an undertaking.

I wonder if someone at the college decided keeping this information secret was in the interest of the "war on terror".

This story it appears is going to get very interesting.

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I wonder if funding the Taliban, is worse than funding the IRA?

Are balaclavas better than turbans?

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I wonder if someone at the college decided keeping this information secret was in the interest of the "war on terror"

I doubt it. We're talking about a mickey mouse, no-name small American private college, of the sort that were reported by an article posted by someone on a thread in 'House Prices and the Economy' a few weeks ago as being on the verge of bankruptcy in their droves. I would guess that the head librarian and VP of the college who signed off on the project had never been involved in a project involving the archiving of legally and/or politically sensitive records before, had no idea what they were getting themselves into, and just signed off in blissful ignorance.

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I doubt it. We're talking about a mickey mouse, no-name small American private college, of the sort that were reported by an article posted by someone on a thread in 'House Prices and the Economy' a few weeks ago as being on the verge of bankruptcy in their droves. I would guess that the head librarian and VP of the college who signed off on the project had never been involved in a project involving the archiving of legally and/or politically sensitive records before, had no idea what they were getting themselves into, and just signed off in blissful ignorance.

That seems to be an apt summary Ayatollah. They really had no idea what they were getting into to the extent that they did not even arrange who, when or why any disclosure could or should be made. They didn't even know that a treaty existed that allowed the NI Police Service to ask the US for help in getting evidence that was relevant to securing justice. Incredible. No oversight committee and no ethical conduct involved. This is a longer version of your summary - it's interesting reading, you might enjoy it.

http://chronicle.com/article/Secrets-from-Belfast/144059/

The first subpoena arrived on May 5, 2011. Its contents were under seal. Boston College was told only that the U.S. Department of Justice, acting under a mutual-legal-assistance treaty with Britain, was seeking the interviews of Brendan Hughes and Dolours Price, for help in a criminal investigation in Northern Ireland involving kidnapping and murder.

The subpoena was a shock. None of the four principals was aware that such a treaty existed, allowing the Police Services of Northern Ireland to ask the United States for help in securing evidence they thought relevant to their case. And just two months earlier, the British government had given the college highly sensitive papers related to the disarmament process, to be kept locked away for 30 years. Yet that same government now wanted access to other sensitive documents about the same era.

This could be explosive for NI politics. :ph34r:

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Masterful PR by Adams and Sinn Fein in that news conference - this event will turn him into a living saint amongst his supporters; Northern Ireland's very own Nelson Mandella.

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Masterful PR by Adams and Sinn Fein in that news conference - this event will turn him into a living saint amongst his supporters; Northern Ireland's very own Nelson Mandella.

Not sure I'm seeing "saints! :unsure:

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