Northern Ireland

Boston College tapes: McIntyre gave interview to archive

Anthony McIntyre
Image caption Anthony McIntyre was the lead researcher for the Boston College oral project

The former republican prisoner whose interviews led to Gerry Adams' recent arrest gave an account of his own IRA activity to a controversial US archive.

Anthony McIntyre was the lead researcher on Boston College's oral history project on the Troubles.

He told BBC Northern Ireland's Spotlight programme he is exposed to the same risk of arrest facing other participants in the project.

Mr McIntyre, who is now an academic, was jailed for murder in 1977,

He told Spotlight reporter Declan Lawn his own activities were included with more than 20 other former IRA members.

IRA killing

Participants thought the interviews would remain confidential, but detectives in Northern Ireland investigating the 1972 disappearance and murder of mother-of-10 Jean McConville obtained a United States court order giving them access to the material concerning her death.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was arrested on 30 April and questioned about the IRA killing on the basis of some of those interviews.

Mr Adams, who denies involvement in the murder, was released without charge four days later.

The arrest has fuelled controversy about the Boston College oral history project, mainly because the taped interviews were not afforded the legal protections that participants expected.

Mr McIntyre and Ed Moloney, the journalist who managed the project, have clashed with Boston College about whether the project had legal safeguards.

Not given to PSNI

Mr McIntyre said the fact that he gave an interview himself demonstrated that he believed the material would be shielded from police investigations.

He said his interview has not been given to the PSNI.

"I am one of the people who was interviewed," he said.

"I am on tape, I am saying no more. I won't go into any detail, but I exposed myself to exactly the same risks as anybody else was exposed to.

"I did not lead people into a project that I wasn't prepared to take the same degree of exposure.

"Why would I put my own interviews in Boston College if I thought the police were going to maybe at some point look at them for to prosecute me?

"Self-interest alone would have prevented me."

Spotlight is available to watch on the BBC's iPlayer until 13 May 2014

More on this story