Martin Galvin (MG) interviews Anthony McIntyre (AM) via telephone from Ireland about recent events occurring from the fallout of the Boston College tape subpoenas and about the demands for the release of Michael McKevitt.
Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.55FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
4 July 2015
(begins time stamp ~ 44:29)
MG: With us on the line we have Dr. Anthony McIntyre. Anthony, are you with us?
AM: I am indeed, Martin. Thank you for having me on.
MG: Well Anthony, the Boston tapes saga continues: As our listeners will know, there were a number of interviews that were conducted. You did some of the interviews for Republicans. There were interviews conducted for Unionists who had been involved in the struggle and that was supposed to be part of a history archive that would be maintained by Boston College so that people would be able to study, hear the reflections of people like Brendan Hughes, who'd been involved in the struggle firsthand. And of course when a book was published ~ it included Brendan Hughes' story as well as David Ervine ~ the PSNI (or the RUC) began a search to get this material and use it against those who had spoken out. And last week we had another development both for you and your wife in terms of these tapes. Could you tell us what happened to you first?
AM: Well, what happened to me was on Sunday morning two Garda detectives called at the house and they said that they were there on behalf of the PSNI, the British police service of The North. And they said that they had a number of questions they wished to put to me in respect of Boston College at the behest of the PSNI. I invited them in. It was very polite. They were very formal in terms of just asking the questions. They didn't push. They didn't press. There was no nastiness out of them and were simply doing what they were tasked or mandated to do. So the fault here really lies with the PSNI. The PSNI are sending down here looking details in relation to Boston College and yet the PSNI and the British state refuse to supply the Dublin government with all the documentation relating to the Dublin-Monaghan bombings of May, 1974 in which the British government and RUC members were up to their neck in the bombing of the capital of this island. So it's a large dose of chutzpah that the PSNI have brought to this. You have to bear in mind that the PSNI are a vindictive police force - not interested in pursuing justice - but interested in pursuing people that have annoyed them for one reason or another in the past or they believe have annoyed them.
MG: Anthony, there is a case pending now that's related to the Boston College tapes: Ivor Bell is accused of having given an interview - although whether his voice is actually on the tapes is in dispute. He was arrested. He's been under charges now for more than a year. The PSNI and the prosecution service says it needs more time to investigate and to look into this and to decide whether to go ahead with the charges. He's charged under a theory of aiding and abetting – he was not supposed to be present – it's involved with Jean McConville.
But at the same time you have the Bloody Sunday troopers: they're all known – they're all identified – everybody can find them fairly quickly – they, the British Prime Minister said that they committed unjustified and unjustified killings – which to me sounds a lot like a legal definition of murder - or manslaughter. A judge named Saville said that they had fabricated stories to justify their actions - which to me sounds a lot like perjury - and they refuse to arrest anybody – anybody! Even though they have the names, even though they have the identity, even though they have the location - they say they have to interview every possible witness before they can move ahead and make one arrest for Bloody Sunday. Do you see a contradiction there?
AM: There is a massive contradiction. But they're so determined to interview every possible witness for Bloody Sunday that they're even sending out letters to people who've been dead ten years asking them to come in for an interview! The PSNI are an absolute disgrace. They have no interest in trying to bring a just closure to the past. They were very quick out of the traps to try and get the tapes. They were very quick out of the traps to arrest Mr. Bell. and Mr. Bell has never, ever at any point said that he gave an interview to Boston College.
So the PSNI in this matter are behaving with a very pro-state, anti-republican agenda. and the last thing that the PSNI is in pursuit of justice. Long before the Boston College tapes were ever known about the PSNI knew the identities of the killers of the innocent people in Bloody Sunday – knew the identities of the war criminals that carried out the war crime that was Bloody Sunday and did absolutely nothing about it! So to go haring off after Mr. Bell, or any other Boston College interviewee, as if they are concerned with justice is a sheer and utter nonsense!
MG: Well, I do know...I was familiar with the case of Sean Hoey a number of years ago and one of the pillars of that case was supposed to be his voice identification. and his solicitor used to tell me (and laugh) that the accent – now Sean Hoey was from South Armagh – and they said the person whose voice was on the phone was actually, very clearly, would be recognised as a Belfast accent so it wasn't even from the same part of the country. And sure enough when that case went to trial that evidence was withdrawn. So you wonder how far they're going to go with a voice identification - number one. And number two: He's charged with aiding and abetting. If you apply that standard then why aren't those who commanded Bloody Sunday – why aren't the other troopers who were aiding and abetting, in addition to those who fired the shots, why isn't that applied and why don't we really go after people like Mike Jackson and others for Bloody Sunday who masterminded the firing of shots and masterminded the cover-up that followed?
AM: Well because – it's very simple – they are trying to minimise the culpability that occurred on Bloody Sunday and marginalise it down to the very bottom. And if anybody's ever hauled before a court it will be the privates who were on duty on the day – maybe a sergeant or a corporal. Because the Bloody Sunday case goes to the heart of the British state and the British establishment's culpability for numerous crimes that were carried out by the British state security services in Ireland.
And the structure and framework of cover-up, which conveyed continuous messages to their front-line troops that they would not be held to account in any court for the murders that they carried our, has become a factor that was fed in the whole process so the British state is up to its neck in the murder of civilians. We've seen it recently in the collusion, the collusion between the British state and Loyalist death squads, the collusion between the British state and indeed, Freddie Scappaticci, who was killing Irish people every bit as viciously as the Loyalists were.
MG: In addition to you getting a rap at the door about the Boston tapes your wife, Carrie McIntyre, who's an American citizen, came to the United States to visit her parents and she also got a mention about the Boston tapes. Could you tell us about that?
AM: Well, my wife Carrie was on a plane landing in Los Angeles and she had gone out to visit her parents who were ill. And before they had disembarked from the plane and the doors opened it was announced over the tannoy system: Would Carrie Twomey-McIntyre please identify herself. She did. And then she was told to come to the front as there were people who wished to speak to her. When she disembarked there were two gentle-, a woman and a man from the – I believe it was the FBI or Homeland Security - they escorted her away. They told her that they were going to expedite her journey through the passport control. As it turned out the plane that my wife was on was the only plane docked at that time in that slot. so there was no undue delay at passport control.
They were polite with her. They were formal but they asked her a number of questions and one of the questions they asked her was: Was she traveling to Boston? And she had asked them what business was that of theirs and why were they asking the question. And they had told her it had been on the files about her visits to Boston. My wife has been out lobbying very hard on behalf of myself and Mr. Moloney and the Boston College, our end of the Boston College project – she'd been in Boston on a number of occasions. They know that she has been the brains behind the website, the Boston College Subpoena News, and that she has coordinated and directed the resistance to the British state's subpoena requests. So in my view it's the case of the American government officials saying to her: We're marking your cards. Don't think that because you're in here for any reason – legal reason, harmless reason, anodyne reason - that we will not keep our eye off you. We will keep our eye on you at all times and we will monitor your movements. And I suppose now that America is very much a surveillance state people really have to expect this thing, Martin.
MG: Anthony, just very quickly: There was a protest by five TDs on behalf of Mickey McKevitt. He was seriously ill, he had an operation, he's almost at the end of a very long sentence – he was returned to gaol even though it might affect him just medically instead of leaving him out. He was not permitted to begin just a weekend leave that would apply to any other prisoner. He's been previously denied the remission that other prisoners use. You have an article about that on your website The Pensive Quill.
AM: The treatment by the Dublin government, and in particular the Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald, of Michael McKevitt is absolutely disgraceful. There's no reason whatsoever for Mr. McKevitt to be returned to prison. He should be at home with his family immediately. But they have been very vindictive from Day One against Michael McKevitt. They set him up through the perjured evidence of the gangster, Dave Rupert. They have undermined every attempt he has made at appeal. And now they have come in and stopped him getting access to early release in accordance with the regime that other prisoners avail of. And now they have returned him to prison despite the fact that he's suffering from cancer. They have no reason whatsoever to return him.
I have just been off the phone before you rang with Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Prison and they're outraged at what they say is a former Republican party refusing to lend its voice or declining thus far to lend its voice to the five TDs who have already come out and spoken up on behalf of Mr. McKevitt. I mean Sinn Féin has fourteen TDs in Dáil Éireann. It should demand that Michael McKevitt is released and returned to his family immediately. It's a disgrace and it has left many of us very, very angry that they're treating him in the same manner that Paddy Cooney, the Justice Minister, Fine Gael, from 1973 to 1977, when he characterised prisoners in one statement as: Prisoners have no rights.
MG: Alright. We're going to have to leave it there, Anthony. We're celebrating July 4th and somehow I think if the true spirit of July 4th and Independence Day was being followed you would be able to accompany your wife on a visit to the United States and talk about your book and your ideas which are so widely influential within Ireland itself.
AM: Martin, thank you very much for having me on. Thank you for raising the issues and in particular thank you for raising that crucial issue of Michael McKevitt.
(ends time stamp ~ 57:17)