Efforts to prevent a peace process ‘research project’ being used to prosecute and jail senior republicans suffered a setback this week following a court ruling in Boston.
Interviews with former republican prisoners, which form part of the Boston College Belfast Project carried out between 2001 and 2006, have been the focus of a prolonged legal battle.
Under a court ruling last weekend, an interview with Dolours Price, sister of interned political dissident Marian Price, must be handed over to the PSNI next month.
It has been alleged that the interview implicates Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams in IRA actions.The interviews were carried out by former political prisoner Anthony McIntyre and New York-based journalist Ed Moloney.
A number of other former IRA members gave interviews on condition they would not be made public until after their deaths.
Mr McIntyre and Mr Moloney have argued the release of the tapes could damage the peace process and put lives at risk.
Last week, legal representatives for Mr McIntyre, who lives in County Louth, said they will seek leave to apply for a judicial review in Belfast in a bid to stop the PSNI pursuing the interviews -- on the basis that such a move would put their client’s life in danger.
In a separate legal battle, Boston College is attempting to block PSNI access to seven other interviews carried out with former IRA members as part of the project.
Mr Moloney said the latest court move has put his life and the life of Mr McIntyre in danger.
“As Eamonn [his solicitor] put it, the IRA could well target Mr McIntyre for having conducted these interviews and subject him and his family to violent reprisals. This action by the PSNI has put his life in danger,” he said.