US appeal court to rule on IRA interview tapes disclosure

A US appeal court is due to rule on whether confidential interviews with ex-IRA and loyalist activists can be handed over to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The row over the Boston College tapes – containing testimony of former paramilitaries – raises fundamental issues about the protection of sources by journalists and historians, and the right of the state to seize such material.

The tapes contain interviews by former IRA and loyalist activists who gave the interviews to the Belfast Project on the condition that what they said about their role in the Troubles would become public only after their deaths.

Former IRA prisoner-turned-writer Anthony McIntyre and the award-winning journalist Ed Moloney have argued that handing over the tapes could put lives at risk.

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