Approach to Northern Ireland’s bloody past remains ad hoc and most of all unpredictable…

There is much wringing of hands at the latest turn in the story of the Boston archives. Henry McDonald has a good round up of some of it. As it stands, US law, it seems, affords US institutions of Higher Education little protection against an incoming subpoena.

The College is folding on this case, but fighting an attempt at a wider trawl through archives. The two researchers, Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntrye are considering further options in this case.

In the meantime Seamus McKendry Jean McConville’s son-in-law on speaking on RTE’s This Week programme (35 minutes in) wants to know who ordered the killing.

It is absolutely imperative that these tapes are given back to the Police Service here. I mean these tapes contain interviews that relate to murder, not the theft of car radios or the clothes of someone’s line. It’s not a trivial matter; it’s a murder case.

Primarily for Helen my wife – after all it was her mother that was murdered so brutally – she would dearly like to get closure. She would dearly love to find out why her mother was murdered and on whose authority was she murdered.

I mean Dolours Price has already intimated that Gerry Adams told her to drive Mrs McConville and we’re hoping that the tapes will clarify that.

She just wants to find out who signed the warrant for her mother’s death on absolute total lack of evidence of any shape or form. She knows her mother was scapegoated by the IRA.

Unsurprisingly the question of academic freedom is secondary to the family. Whilst it is unlikely any criminal prosecutions will arise directly from any evidence emerging from the archives, the more complete the case notes the HET eventually hand over to the family the greater their scope for subsequent action.

With an investigation pending for the Paras over Bloody Sunday, the SoS looking into an inquiry in the Enniskillen and lively campaigns looking for investigations into the circumstances of the bombing of McGurks Bar and the killing of civilians at time of internment in 1971 the approach to Northern Ireland’s past remains ad hoc, and unpredictable.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty