Ivor Bell facing demands to tell all over Boston Tapes
Former IRA chief Ivor Bell is under pressure to reveal the names of former comrades he exposed during interviews he gave to Boston College.
Dozens of former IRA members across Belfast are said to be in a ‘state of panic’ as the extent of the Boston College tapes becomes known.
Demands are now being made that Bell reveals all to those he has named during the controversial recordings in order to prepare them for possible future police investigations.
Today the Sunday World can reveal the identities of a number of prominent republican veterans dubbed the ‘Boston Touts’ who have recorded interviews with Boston College.
In recent weeks it has emerged that the former IRA OC Bell has completed over 40 interviews with project co-founder and former IRA prisoner, Anthony “Mackers” McIntyre.
“Ivor has given absolutely everything and there is massive anger growing because of that,” said one republican source.
“He has named dozens of people and Ivor needs tell the people he has named exactly what he said on the tapes. There is an acceptance that he has told everything so now he needs to go to the doors of those he has named and come clean.
“Ivor has gone further than anyone, it was designed as payback to republicanism which he came to hate and manifested itself for years,” the source said.
The Sunday World can reveal that in addition to Bell and deceased former provos Dolours Price and Brendan Hughes others including former escapee Tommy Gorman, blanketman Richard O’Rawe, and former IRA man Brendan ‘Shando’ Shannon has also made tapes.
They are believed to have named dozens of people involved in IRA activity in Belfast in the 1970s.
The former IRA figures made the tapes on the basis that McIntyre and his colleague journalist Ed Moloney promised them that the contents of the tapes wouldn’t be released until the interviewees had died.
These assurances were blown out of the water by a US judge earlier this year when he ordered the tapes relating to the murder of Jean McConville to be handed over to the PSNI.
Anthony McIntyre has stated he believes he and his project has been “shafted” and at no stage was any of the information intended for police investigations including the murder of Jean McConville which Sinn Fein boss Gerry Adams was arrested in connection with last week.
The police have also used Ivor Bell’s own words to place him before the courts.
One former Belfast IRA figure told the Sunday World last night that concern was growing among many former IRA members in the city.
“If somebody like Ivor can spend hours on tape talking openly about his time in the army and possibly implicating himself in something like the McConville killing then god only knows what he has said about other things,” the former IRA figure said.
“Mackers [Anthony McIntyre] has managed to do what countless RUC men failed to do, he has turned good people into touts. He has got paid a fortune by the Americans to do this project and has now left those of us who served in the IRA at great personal cost to pick up the pieces.
“Many of the people who may be implicated here haven’t been active in republicanism since the 1970s, many are now grandparents and great grandparents but because of McIntyre’s greed and his reckless need to try and damage Sinn Féin our families will now have to suffer. The man is a disgrace,” the one time IRA man said.
The republican also repeated calls to Ivor Bell and Anthony McIntyre to come clean about the contents of the controversial Boston Tapes.
“Back in the day there were people who wouldn’t have thought twice about leaving a tout dead on the border. Now through their own arrogance some of those who did the tapes are no better than then the people they once condemned. Indeed it is worse, lads who broke under torture in Castlereagh can’t be compared to those who have broken every rule in the book for a few quid or because they needed their egos massaged.
“Mackers, Ivor and the rest need to come forward and tell those people they have informed on of the craic. People can’t be expected to sit here waiting for a knock on the door.” he added.
The Sunday World has learned that Anthony McIntyre was paid £26,000 a year over a five year period by Boston College to carry out the interviews, his partner was also employed to assist in compiling the information gained from the interviews.