Lamentation over the Boston tapes does not prevent us dealing with the past

Newton Emerson ‘s bleak assessment of how to deal with the past deserves serious attention (£). The Boston College tapes make a mockery of all high-blown talk about “dealing with the past”. The idea that a formal process of investigation, truth recovery and historical assessment into 3,700 Troubles deaths could work at all, let alone satisfy all sides, looks absurd given the saga over one 42-year-old case. As far as personal testimony is concerned the chilling effect of the use …

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