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Court Maintains IRA Interview Recordings Must Be Turned Over To Police09:12
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A woman walks past an Irish Republican Army mural in West Belfast, Northern Ireland. A U.S. appeals court ruled that interviews given by former IRA members must be handed over to the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The interviews are part of the Boston College Belfast Project which began in 2001 and lasted five years. (AP)
A woman walks past an Irish Republican Army mural in West Belfast, Northern Ireland. A U.S. appeals court ruled that interviews given by former IRA members must be handed over to the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The interviews are part of the Boston College Belfast Project which began in 2001 and lasted five years. (AP)

The historic meeting between former Irish Republican Army leader Martin McGuinness and Queen Elizabeth in June signified an end to decades of violence and animosity between the two states.

But vestiges of The Troubles in Northern Ireland are still with us, and the heat is being felt in Boston of all places.
Boston College has housed the oral histories of top IRA and Loyalist figures, who gave their stories to researchers on the promise the records would remain confidential until their deaths. But British police, investigating a decades-old murder, want access to some of those stories now. The resulting legal fight has tested the limits of academic freedom in the face of overwhelming diplomatic pressure from America's closest ally.
Last year a US District Court Judge ordered Boston College to turn over its records. The researchers themselves then sought the right to appeal the ruling on their own. The First Circuit Court of Appeals heard their arguments in April.

On July 6, researchers lost another legal attempt to block the transfer of their records, as the First Circuit upheld the lower court's ruling — setting up a possible showdown in the nation's highest court.

Guests:

  • David Boeri, WBUR reporter

More:

This segment aired on July 9, 2012.

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