About Ed Moloney

Ed Moloney is an Irish journalist who now lives and works in New York City. For most of his professional life he covered the Troubles in Northern Ireland, writing for the Irish Times and the Sunday Tribune. A former Irish journalist of the year, he has published work in a variety of newspapers and magazines in Ireland, the UK, and the United States, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The Economist, The Independent, The Guardian and The New Statesman.

Moloney is the author of three books dealing with aspects of the Irish Troubles,  A Secret History of the IRA (2007), Paisley: From Demagogue to Democrat? (2008) and Voices from the Grave: Two Men’s War in Ireland (2010). He has also helped to produce documentaries for the BBC, Channel Four, London Weekend Television and a recent RTE documentary, Voices From the Grave, which was based on his book and was shortlisted for best documentary prize by the Irish Film and Television Academy.

53 responses to “About Ed Moloney

  1. Ed glad to see your views have mellowed a bit on the ould taigs. good luck eamon

  2. Eamon – Glad to see you’re still torturing those poor goats!

  3. Hi Ed,

    I wanted to send you a query re Voices from the Grave. Is there an email address you give out for stranger-mail? Thanks…

  4. Hello Ed,

    I am a Brazilian journalist who works as International Correspondent for the website http://www.operamundi.com.br.

    They are doing a serie of special reports about the effects that 9/11 had in different countries. My part is to talk about the effect that 9/11 caused on IRA.

    I wonder if you can help me. Can you give me an interview?

    Please, send your contatc details to correspondents.eu@hotmail.com

    Thank you, Juliana Yonezawa

    I am doing a piece for them about the effects that

  5. Hello Ed,
    Reference your article in the Irish Times (September 24th). Martin McGuiness was never a member of Óglaigh na hÉireann. He was however a member of the Provisional IRA. There is only one Óglaigh na hÉireann and that is the Irish Defence Forces. The Irish Defence Forces has a proud history of defending the sovereignty of the Republic of Ireland from the threat to this state that was the Provisional IRA.

    Regards Philip

    • I suppose those that claim ownership of this Name are many and varied one only has to go back to the Civil War to see same..The ‘Regulars’ have nothing to crow abut when blood was spilled back then… the dykes in Kerry ran red with those tied to Landmines….moreover until Ireland called itself a ‘Republic’ many thanks to Edward and Mrs Simpson the term was up for grabs, as only then the state could remove dominion status… and so unfettered call to the use of the term ‘The Island of Ireland’ could be supported… Even today the Irish Passport the term ‘Republic’ is held back……. Eire / Ireland bring shown on the cover…The biggest threat to the Irish people over the generation was ‘British Imperialism’ which wet nursing Unionist Hegemony for a pastime..thus .by miss rule and the use of ‘Politics by other means’..indeed .creating those conditions making conflict the last option left…… ‘The Troubles’ and what followed were a product of generations of repression….as for the ‘Provisionals’ some could say they were born out of the ashes of ‘Bombay street’….. By the way the greatest loss of life in this state.. would have been ‘Dublin and Monaghan Bombings’ and the dogs on the street know who carried out those despotic acts…

  6. Hi
    Your blog is of interest to me for many reasons as you may expect.

    I trust that you do not expect mine to be always in agreement with your anti IRA writing.
    History cannot be re-written.

  7. Pingback: Boston College: Time for Resignations «

  8. Pingback: La rabbia di Ed Moloney per il “tradimento” del Boston College « Les Enfants Terribles

  9. Pingback: Reckless Negligence: Expanding the Case Against Boston College «

  10. Pingback: Boston College Burns the Seed Corn | Boston College Subpoena News

  11. I don’t have the book with me right now so I can’t check on what you say. Keep in touch though and we’ll have a look at this later.

  12. Mr Moloney, I’ve long been a fan of your work; delighted to have found your blog. Your analysis of the Troubles has been one of the most important and fearless sources for my own assessment of the Dirty War. If I might direct your attention to my own site, I have been writing for some time on politics in Britain and Ireland.
    Here’s my take on ‘that handshake’:
    Here’s something I wrote on Adams withdrawal from Westminster:
    I have also completed a novel that starts on that fateful day in August 1979 which started with Mullaghmore and ended with Warrenpoint:

    I just wanted to say thank you, I wouldn’t be writing about this subject if people like you hadn’t done the legwork so well.

  13. Pingback: Mutual legal assistance, Boston College, and tales from the Troubles « EJIL: Talk!

    • I wish to lodge a protest with this website in the strongest possible terms. Your article contains a number of key inaccuracies which could have been corrected or at least challenged had you bothered to contact me, Ed Moloney, the director of the Belfast Project which is the subject of your article. You clearly have had access to my blog and your article is dotted with my name (but none from Boston College), yet you did not even bother to contact me to check some important facts. Instead you took as gospel the account of Boston College in this affair despite the fact that this college has a strong motivation to launder the truth in its own self-interest.
      This is a story of many things but essentially it is a tale of gross academic funk, of a college abandoning a research project that it had initiated and funded, which it boasted about and which it used as a basis to become an important archive for other documents from the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It is a story of a college that has thrown its research subjects to the wolves and denigrated those in Belfast who worked on its behalf. Had you done the most elemental research you would have been aware of this controversy surrounding the project and the subsequent subpoenas and that ought have sent you in the search for balancing inputs from those involved on the ground in this project. But you didn’t. I now ask that these comments be incorporated in your account which should be corrected and edited to reflect my input. In this capacity I am speaking on behalf of the two researchers who carried out the interviews, Dr Anthony McIntyre who interviewed IRA activists and Wilson McArthur who interviewed Loyalist activists.
      Your first gross error came at the start of your article when you wrote:
      “The Belfast Project at Boston College was not, however, a typical university research project. This project was not initiated by a professor or college employee, tenured or otherwise, but by the Irish journalist and author Ed Moloney. Moloney entered into an agreement in 2001 with the head of Boston College’s Burns Library to house what was then an envisioned collection of recorded interviews with former paramilitaries about their activities during the Troubles. Interviews were then conducted from 2001-2006 on the basis of a promise of confidentiality for both the interview and the interviewee, to last until the interviewee’s death.”
      This is so wrong it is difficult to know where to start. But here is the history of the origin of this project. In 1999-2000, Professor Paul Bew of the Political Science Department at Queens University Belfast was a visiting scholar at BC. He arrived just after the Good Friday Agreement had been signed in Belfast heralding the end of the conflict and the beginning of peace. While at BC, the head of the college’s Burns Library, Dr Robert K O’Neill told Bew that because of the peace deal, BC was interested in starting a collection associated with the Irish Troubles and could he, Bew, help the college search and locate suitable projects. Bew agreed. This is the point at which the project was initiated and note that it was the college Head Librarian who initiated it. When Bew returned to Belfast he canvassed around for ideas. He approached me amongst others and I suggested replicating a project that the Irish govt had put in place after the Anglo-Irish war of 1919-1921 to collect the stories of those who had fought in the conflict. He took that idea back to O’Neill who contacted me to see if I would take the idea forward with BC’s help. This I agreed to do. BC then drew up the contracts including the crucial donor contract which did not carry any caveat or warning about interviewees’ vulnerability to subpoenas. The funding was also put in place for the project. Each interviewee received £25,000 p.a., I received £5,000 p.a. for what was essentially a part-time job and a small sum was set aside for equipment, transcription and shipping. All that money came from BC. So in every meaning of the phrase, the Belfast Project was “a typical university research project” that had been initiated and funded by college employees.
      Since the subpoenas were served and it has become painfully clear that BC was deficient in its responsibilities to interview subjects, some of whom could now face jail terms, there has been an effort by this college to shift the blame on to myself and the two researchers and to denigrate us in every way possible. One way it has done this is to put distance between itself and the project by implying or suggesting that they kindly made room on their shelves for a project which otherwise was nothing to with themselves, a project that was entirely my work and idea. That is blatantly a lie and you have fallen for it. BC is a college that has an income of nearly $750 million a year and employs full-time p.r. people and while we have nothing like those resources we nonetheless have presented our case truthfully and have largely succeeded despite the massive odds against us.
      The second untruth is this, which you also wrote:
      “Critics, however, note that the Boston College project was not initiated by an academic, but by a journalist and author who, with the librarian, tried to use contract law to ensure that an intended collection of interviews conducted in Northern Ireland were housed on a confidential basis outside the jurisdiction. Boston College’s Center for Irish Programs has acknowledged an association with the project, with the Center’s Executive Director having ‘met periodically in Belfast with the former IRA/UVF university-trained men who conducted the interviews with paramilitary veterans from opposing sides,’ but the project’s terms were agreed without the Center’s involvement.”
      You repeat here the canard you began your piece with, that this project was not initiated by an academic but by a journalist. I repeat, BC began this project, funded it, drew up the contracts and therefore own this project despite its efforts to suggest otherwise.
      The second untruth concerns what you have to say about the Center for Irish Programs. Let me be very, very clear about this. The head of that Center is Professor Tom Hachey and throughout the life of this project, from 2001 to 2006, Hachey was the man we all went to for instructions, for assistance and for anything to do with the project aside from storage of the interviews. He was our main point of contact with BC. Dr Bob O’Neill deferred to him in all matters concerning the project and he was the public face of the project when the book based on the Hughes/Ervine interviews was published, giving all the media interviews that resulted, which are available on archive. It was Hachey who came to us circa 2004 to ask if we would agree to existing contracts being altered to allow publication of interviews while the subjects were still living. Ask yourself how that rests with BC’s efforts to blame the subpoenas on ourselves? One reassurance he tried to give us at that time was that there would be no risk as we were legally safe. BC wanted bangs for its bucks, he explained, i.e. publications that would justify the expense incurred on the project. We declined on the grounds that it would be wrong to alter a deal already made with interviewees but one result of all this was the publication of the Hughes/Ervine book. BC wanted publications from their investment and this was the first. It was Hachey who conducted negotiations with the publisher, via my agent, about that book; it was Hachey who asked that he and O’Neill should share the byline on the book (Faber refused) and it was Hachey who insisted that half the royalties go to his Center and to O’Neill’s library. (Incidentally, I have all the emails to back up every word I write) This pathetic attempt to distance himself from the project, using yourself as the vehicle, may have more to do with the internal politics of BC than anything else but whatever the reason it is despicable.
      Accordingly, I would ask that all this be reflected in your continuing coverage of the Belfast Project, that you correct or at least balance your inaccuracies and that you contact me beforehand so that I can see what you intend to do.

  14. Pingback: Anthony McIntyre: “pronto al carcere per difendere le mie fonti” | Les Enfants Terribles

  15. I’m a Connolly. I’m an American, but live in Tokyo. My namesake great-great grandfather came from Fermanagh. He was a Methodist. On my mother’s side, my Lyons great-great grandfather came from Cork and was Catholic. I visited Belfast for 5 days several years ago and wandered all over the Bogside. I just saw the CNN program on efforts to get access to records from the Troubles. As an observer at a distance, I sure think we should all let the dead lie at peace.

  16. Ed, I just finished Voices from the grave. It was brilliant. Is there plans for more? And when? I have some things on this comment portion with happenings at BC and was wondering if you were still going ahead??

  17. Just what I read in the previous post about Boston College and the documents/tapes that are requested by the British Government??

  18. Well I hope there is another book some time?? I am fascinated with that time period 67′-current.. I have read a few on the “Troubles” any you would recommend??
    Thank you
    Gene Flynn

  19. Thank you and dont give up!! Good Luck!!! Hope you post updates on the situation..


  21. Ed, fully agree on Eamonn Collins and Killing Rage. Read it en-route to Oz and almost missed my connection at Singapore. That man had oomph! Ed, I know that as a journalist you’d probably dismiss the online petitions but I’ve signed a few that had major impact – Magdalene Laundries and Bethany Babies. Think about it. Integrity, though not often acknowledged, is highly respected and you have it in spades. History will serve you well.

    • many thanks craghopper, much appreciated. i do actually sign some online petitions, over here in the US that is, where often they deal with the most awful miscarriages of justice……or corporate evildoings

  22. Ed – I’m an Australian journalist trying to get in touch with you. I’m on millar.lisa at abc.net.au if you’re able to send me an email with contact details. Thank you.

  23. Hi Ed, enjoyed your comments today on RTE, yes, I agree with you that while we are bombarded with prose over Paisley the statesman, no one but no one should ever forget the rest of his CV! Best of luck. John

  24. Am halfway through ‘Voices From The Grave’ – just brilliant. Paul Greengrass should develop this material.


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  27. Hello, Ed.
    I’m an Russian journalist. I am preparing an article on the current state of Irish radical republicanism. In Russia, almost nothing is known about the IRA and other republican groups. I get most of their information from articles and books, but they do not answer all my questions. I wonder if you can help me. My e-mail – ventadv(at)gmail.com. If you’re able to send me an email with contact details.
    Evgeniy Buzev

  28. Dear Ed,
    I’m trying to license the image above of McGuinness in custody, but having real trouble tracking it down. Do you have any idea who holds the rights to it?

  29. Dead Ed,

    Stumbled upon this website which talks about McGuiness and his informer links.

    Some of this was new information to me, I was wondering if your consider it reputable?


  30. Hello Ed,

    I though would put this comment here, rather than in the article about McGuinness because it wasn’t an appropriate place.

    I hope this question is not somewhat insensitive.

    But have you made plans to ensure that the content of this website remains online 10, 20, 30 years from now? I understand wordpress.com is free, but there is no guarantee the wealth of information remains up forever.

    It would be a great shame to come here one day, trying to dig up some of your writings only to find a dead link.


  31. Ed, Sean McPhilemy’a book on ‘The Committee’, is it reliable? I’ve not seen you mention some of the accusations made in the book.

    • let me put it this way. mcphilemy, who i knew at QUB and always thought solid until this episode, came over from london to NI to do some research. he took the stranraer ferry. he arrived and not far outside larne he picked up a hitchhiker who told him this story about a secret committee of unionists who were directing things. thus started his book and all else that followed. i can only think he lost his mind somewhere but how i do not know. that’s why i don’t mention it. would you?

      • Good to know ha

        Sunday times claimed it was a hoax but the court declared it had ‘failed to prove the non-existence of a clandestine committee’ which seems like an absurd way to judge the matter.

  32. Hi Ed,

    My name is Felix Davey, I’m a photographer from Belfast currently studying at Yale University and researching histories of IRA activity abroad. I couldn’t find your email address but would love to speak to you if possible.



  33. Where did you get the picture of that car ? Very important to me. Please contact me private thank you

  34. Hi Ed, thank you for your work. Having seen I, Dolours in cinema in Dublin, I think it both a very difficult and important film. I have been looking for copy to purchase and am having difficulty locating one. Would you be able to point me in the right direction?


  35. Pingback: “A BUILDING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE RIVER FOYLE..” | 11sixtynine

  36. how wonderful, that the cry of the disgruntled journalists receives attention, but where is the concern for those not in the nuj?????

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