Belfast Project researchers at Boston College win Supreme Court stay
Published: October 19, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Two researchers studying Northern Ireland's troubled past for a Boston College oral history project won a stay from a Supreme Court justice that blocks a federal appeals court decision requiring them to turn over information they gathered to the British government. Justice Stephen Breyer ruled Oct. 17 that Belfast Project director Ed Moloney and interviewer Anthony McIntyre, a former Irish Republican Army member, would not have to turn over one of the interviews referencing a 1972 murder. Breyer gave the researchers until Nov. 16 to file a writ of certiorari seeking a Supreme Court hearing of their case. The stay will expire if the high court declines to hear the case. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, then the stay will remain in place until the justices issue a ruling, Breyer's order said. The justice's ruling stays a September order from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston that would have required the researchers to turn over the recording of an interview with a former Irish Republican Army member cites the group's involvement in the death of a widow and mother of 10 to the Department of Justice. The Belfast Project is chronicling a period known as the Irish Troubles, which lasted from the 1960s until 1998 when the Good Friday peace agreement was signed. The agreement ended violent hostilities in Northern Ireland between forces seeking to unite the region with Ireland and those wanting it to remain under British rule. Justice Department lawyers sought the information on behalf of the Police Service of Northern Ireland under a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom.
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