STATEMENT ON BOSTON COLLEGE FROM ED MOLONEY
Ed Moloney, the former director of the Belfast Project, the paramilitary oral history archive at Boston College, has today called on the college to withdraw allegations that he and his researchers had any responsibility for subpoenas being served against the archive by the U.S. Attorney’s office on behalf of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). These subpoenas are currently being challenged in the federal appeal court.
Mr. Moloney spoke following today’s disclosure on RTE, the Irish national broadcaster, that Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn had falsely alleged that Moloney had been the sole financial beneficiary from ‘Voices From The Grave’, a book based on interviews from the oral history archive and that Moloney had been driven by the prospect of profits from the book to ignore warnings that the archive was legally vulnerable.
The RTE broadcast can be accessed here:
“Jack Dunn has admitted that he made this allegation without knowing or checking the facts and that senior academics at the college had hidden their financial involvement in the book from him and the college. Dunn has issued a series of allegations against me and my colleagues, Anthony McIntyre and Wilson McArthur, since this affair began, not least that we ignored repeated warnings about the danger of legal action against the archive. We have strenuously denied these claims. Since it is now evident that Mr Dunn is in the habit of making unchecked and unverified allegations and that his credibility has now been fatally damaged, we now say that the college should withdraw all these claims and issue an unreserved apology to us. We have said from the outset that we embarked on the project on the basis of promises from the college that the interviews would be legally safe. We told the truth.”
Today’s RTE interview arose from remarks made by Dunn on RTE television and in the Boston College student newspaper The Heights. On RTE TV, he said: “I think quite frankly that Mr Moloney was so excited about this project and quite frankly so eager to write a book from which he could profit that he chose to ignore the obvious statements that were made to him including a contract he had signed expressing the limitations of confidentiality.”
In The Heights, he said: “…..Moloney was the sole person to profit monetarily from the book.”
Both these claims are demonstrably false and the fact that Mr Dunn is now blaming the student newspaper for publishing the latter quote is contemptible.
Mr Moloney said: “I have provided RTE with emails that show these claims to be utterly false. One from Prof. Tom Hachey to my agent in Dublin makes it clear that the book was published with the enthusiastic approval and encouragement of both himself and Dr Bob O’Neill, the two academics most closely associated with the Belfast project. The college always wanted publications from the archive and at one stage we resisted efforts by Prof Hachey to dilute our confidentiality agreement with the interviewees so that interviews could be published while the interviewees were still alive.”
“Dunn’s assertion that my ‘selfish’ act in publishing the book was responsible for the subpoenas is thus demonstrated to be false. Boston College wanted this book to be published as much as anyone involved and Hachey’s email shows that.
“The emails, which are available to the media on request, show that Hachey proposed that his Center for Irish Programs and O’Neill’s Burns Library would receive fifty per cent of the royalties which would be used for college purposes. I agreed to that suggestion. In the event, however, both men asked me to transfer their share to their personal accounts. Financial records are available to support this.”
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