Friday, February 7, 2014

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Jack in Dunn's Corner

Last week’s in-depth report in the Chronicle for Higher Education by Beth McMurtrie has finally nailed Boston College for its wholly irresponsible approach to the Belfast Project. Its criminal negligence, while concealed during the life of the project, has been exposed as present from the embryonic stages of the exercise.

Since the onset of the subpoenas, Boston College, rather than fully commit to the battle on behalf of its research, sought to shaft both its researchers and research participants, through lies, 'obvious and dangerous lies'. 

Eagerly expressing the dishonest ethos of the College, BC spokesperson Jack Dunn has played a crooked hand from early on in the case, at all times trying to smear and marginalise the researchers in a corporate decision to protect the institution. That sleekit approach only works when you don’t get caught. Dunn lacked the requisite skill to evade the snare and has at last confirmed what critics of the college have charged all along: that BC was more interested in gutting the researchers rather than waging the political fight.

In Dunn’s own words:

Had our efforts gone to Congress in identifying supporters, to work with the State Department and the Department of Justice, we could have been more effective.  
But our efforts were involved in legal matters and distancing ourselves from the reckless rhetoric of Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre.

Dunn, stung by the bad press the College took in The Chronicle, spoke to Brooke Gladstone of NPR’s On The Media. Never slow to leap before looking, Dunn confirmed he had been born with a silver foot in his mouth and engaged in what may ironically be described as reckless rhetoric of his own.

To some, like me, who have long charged that Dunn was a vicious smear artist, his contribution was music to our ears. I have always considered it important that anytime Dunn digs a hole for both himself and the College he should be given an ample supply of shovels. Having his inanities, inconsistencies, and mendacities on public record has helped damn the College’s self serving and increasingly false narrative.

During his interview, Dunn moved to smear me as a person who had a long criminal record. That I was an IRA political prisoner with the same record typology as Bobby Sands, Frank Hughes and the eight other hunger strikers who died in 1981 resisting the criminal label, seemed not to figure with Dunn. With no sense of irony whatsoever and a seemingly straight face, he had no problem citing another former IRA member (and therefore a criminal in Dunn’s eyes), Danny Morrison. Any passing consideration for Boston College's own court assertions that the College adequately represented myself and Moloney went out the window in Dunn's embrace of a blunt cudgel he could clumsily wield against me for his own nefarious end; if anything clearly demonstrates how unfairly and inadequately BC represented us, it is this unholy alliance between Bangers and Mush.

Dunn, in the same interview, also sought to cast aspersions on the quality of my research. With characteristic dishonesty, he falsely claimed that BC Professor Kevin O’Neill had in a 2002 memo accused my work of being very weak, and that O’Neill was stunned by the leading questions that I had asked, implying that the questions I had formulated were somehow a rhetorical strategy to ensnare Gerry Adams.

If indeed Kevin O’Neill had made such charges, Boston College stands indicted for allowing me to continue in the role as researcher for a further five years, and for publicly singing the praises of the research I had conducted a full eight years after O’Neill’s memo - which I had never been shown until this week. This is to say nothing of the implications for the affidavits sworn and filed on behalf of the Trustees of Boston College that describe the purpose of O'Neill's review as "confirming for us what we believed to be the value of this unique collection".

At no point did Kevin O’Neill in his 2002 memo state that my research was weak. What he did say was that ‘what is already collected forms the foundation of a significant historical archive.’

This impression, formed not long into the project, from a brief review of a couple of interview transcripts, was confirmed by Judge William Young. His assessment upon reading the complete Republican archive was,
“This was a bona fide academic exercise of considerable intellectual merit.

[These materials] are of interest – valid academic interests. They’re of interest to the historian, sociologist, the student of religion, the student of youth movements, academics who are interested in insurgency and counterinsurgency, in terrorism and counterterrorism. They’re of interest to those who study the history of religions.”
Bearing in mind Judge Young is not someone regarded as friendly or sympathetic to my position.

The leading questions referred to by Dunn - supposedly meant to cause problem for Gerry Adams - are as follows: 

Q: In my view it was very very naïve ...

Q: Is it true to say, as many writers and academics claim, that was one of the significant turning points ….[Falls Curfew]

Q: I think that what you are trying to do is argue…

Q: Even in the most functional terms, was it a sledgehammer to crack a nut?

Q: They seemed to be …incestuous….

Q: Most volunteers that stayed the course seemed to have that as an objective, I know I did...

Whatever view people might take of the type of questions, it is very clear that there is nothing in them that would lend weight to the malign interpretation attributed to them by Dunn.

If anything, I feel that I stand vindicated by the 2002 memo of Kevin O'Neill - and that the falsehoods of Jack Dunn lie vanquished in his corner.


AM said...

News of Interest: Researcher-participant confidentiality now a formal concept in Canadian law

Tain Bo said...

Ah, happy Jack and his unlikely mate Danny bangers I wonder between the two of them who would win a spit shine contest?
Considering they both do a good job at shinning each other’s arses.
I wonder if Danny feels slighted that is good friend Dunn, done a number on him and bestowed the snooty title of better class of terrorist/criminal upon him.

Nice try Jack but arriving at the Alamo after the fight is over doesn’t bode well for you so why pretend you where there defending the project.
I am sure your friends would agree that you indeed fought the good fight and I will agree as you did fight to keep Boston College far away from the Belfast project.

Jack Dunn has a nice ring but unfortunately all Jack done was give up before the legal battle began.
Not a loss to the prestigious College or to Jack but a loss to oral history.

AM said...

I think the status of the Chronicle For Higher Education in terms of clarifying matters is evident from the fact that it has apparently infuriated the Griffith College lecturer in journalism who also told us Scapaticci was not a spy!! Evidence, if ever any was needed, of journalistic complicity in covering up serious British state malpractice during the conflict. Happy days!

frankie said...

What changed you mind about Scapaticci?

In an interview with the Andersonstown News, Scappaticci stated: "I have read some of the comments that this Anthony McIntyre and other people have come out with. Obviously they have their own agenda, they are embittered people."[26] When the Irish Times reprinted this interview, McIntrye wrote to the paper stating: Not only did I never say that Mr Scappaticci had directed the peace process, I never even claimed that he was "Stakeknife". In every media interview and public comment that I made about this affair, I always made it very clear that I did not know who "Stakeknife" was or is, much less that he was Mr Scappaticci.

From Powerbase

AM said...


like most others watching I knew there was a 'Stakeknife' for quite some time before the public unmasking. Not long before the outing I was told that FS was the man. While I had no reason to disbelieve it I could not stand it up.

Until I had the thing properly bagged I was not prepared to bat at the crease on it: as I recall I restricted myself to saying there was a Stakeknife who had seriously compromised the IRA. I did not want the issue blurred by disputes over what particluar individual may have been Stakeknife. Unlike many of us the Provo leadership knew for quite some time of Scap's role but decided to cover for him.

What the Griffith College journalism lecturer did (along with fellow Shinners) was try to cover up for the existence of the phenomenon Stakeknife (as well as Scap being Stakeknife) - there is no Stakeknife so Scap can't be the man - explaining it away as some sort of intelligence agency dirty trick.

What the Griffith College journalism Lecturer tried to do was cover up for substantive British activity in the midst of the conflict and smear those who were helping to expose it?

You will get a flavour of it

I think the role of journalism in helping the British state mask its crimes during the conflict needs seriously revisited.

AM said...

CONFIDENTIAL: 2002 Burns Belfast Project Report

Henry JoY said...


In not making you aware of Kevin O'Neil's evaluation of your work I am of the opinion that Boston College acted in a shameful, deceitful and unethical manner.

Boris Becker is reported to have quipped "Feedback is the breakfast of champions". Though it seems some at Boston College were never inclined to champion Anthony nor his efforts in any meaningful way.

Whether it is in performance management or learning process contexts it is now well established and accepted best practice that feedback loops are included in schemas and utilised actively.

That Boston College withheld K O'N's evaluation of your work is unethical for any institution of learning. It contained affirmative and corrective feedback which could only have enhanced the quality and value of the work; so why hold it back? Can one on the balance of probability conclude mischievous intent? That's difficult to answer but reading the narrative backwards one could reasonably argue that this report was held-back and held as an 'ace in the hole' of sorts?

It appears a strong possibility to me.

AM said...


I don't know if you are right in your conclusion but it would be hard to argue against what you say, very hard.

Kevin O'Neill would have taken it for granted that myself and Ed got this. He is probably stunned at that but that is not the type of stunned Jack Dunn wants to talk about.

Perhaps he should be called Jaxie Dunn - it is what he speaks through.

Robert said...


'..and that the falsehoods of Jack Dunn lie vanquished in his corner.'

Along with a sad and sorry looking pair of smouldering pants! Can we set our clocks to the arrival of Chief Fire Officer Morrison to distract attention from the fire raging around Jack the Jesuit's nether regions? Nothing to see here -

Tain Bo said...


I tried to access that link with no joy is there another link?

AM said...


you called it in one!

It is what he does. Just that today everybody is wise to him.

Robert said...

Tain Bo,

It should be here

Tain Bo said...


I think Danny is duty bound to defend the man who indirectly called him a better class or more trustworthy criminal.
Definitely a case of move along folks nothing to see here.