Friday, July 6, 2012

A Lot of Very Bad News

In Belfast today, a judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the PSNI from taking receipt of subpoenaed IRA interview material held at Boston College. [Added later, here's a note from Anthony McIntyre: "It is uncertain that the judge in Belfast refused an injunction.  I don’t think it got to that stage. He just declined to let the application go ahead as he didn’t consider it urgent."]

In Boston, the First Circuit rejected the legal appeal filed by Belfast Project researchers Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre. The opinion is below. I haven't read it yet, but a separate one-page order affirms the orders of the District Court. A separate appeal from Boston College is pending, but challenges only the lower court's orders regarding a set of interviews with former IRA member Dolours Price. Another set of seven interviews were also the subject of Moloney and McIntyre's appeal, but not of the appeal filed by Boston College. [In a hurry, I got this backward: BC's appeal covers the later seven interviews, but not the interviews with Dolours Price. Those are the materials that may end up in police hands very soon.] Barring an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court, those interviews will likely be handed over to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston very shortly, and from there to the British government, which will hand them over to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Bottom line: Many confidential materials from a protected academic archive may very shortly be delivered to the police.

Decision is below.
First Circuit Decision in Mm Appeal

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