Representatives of Irish American organizations have held discussions in Boston with officials in Senator John Kerry’s office, the focus of the discussion being the federal subpoena facing Boston College in the matter of the university’s Troubles archive.
Boston attorneys John Foley and James Cotter, Richard Wall and Richard Thompson, president and past president respectively of the Massachusetts AOH, and New York attorney Stephen McCabe of The Brehon Law Society and The Irish Parades Emergency Committee, briefed staffers on the background of the controversy, and the history of the various treaties between the U.S. and UK dealing with, among other matters, the issuing of subpoenas.
Senator Kerry was instrumental in obtaining assurances from the British government that offenses occurring before the Good Friday Agreement would be “off the table” and would not be reopened, a statement from the Irish American delegation said
“Also discussed was the chilling effect the actions of Great Britain in issuing the subpoenas to BC would have on oral history projects, and the first amendment questions raised when journalists are requested to divulge information obtained in confidence,” the statement said.
“Senator Kerry’s staff expressed concern over the implications raised by the subpoenas and will be bringing the senator up to date,” it concluded.
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