The US First Circuit Court of Appeals has issued "a significant victory for Boston College in its efforts to protect the confidentiality of research materials in the Belfast Project," a BC spokesman told the BIR
On Friday, May 31 the Court ruled that the District Court abused its discretion in ordering the production of interview materials that were not relevant to the second subpoena, issued in August 2011, which sought information on the 1972 disappearance of Belfast resident Jean McConville. In offering the opinion, Judge Juan Torruella stated: “After a detailed review of the materials in question, we find that the district court abused its discretion in ordering the production of several of the interviews which, after an in detail reading of the same, do not contain any information relevant to the August 2011 subpoena.”
As a result, the Appeals Court ruled that Boston College must release only 11 segments of the 85 interviews with 7 former IRA members that the District Court had deemed relevant. The 74 other interviews will remain confidential until the death of the participants.
Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn Isaid in a statement, “We are pleased with the Appeals Court ruling that affirms our contention that the District Court erred in ordering the production of 74 interviews that were not relevant to the subpoena. This ruling represents a significant victory for Boston College in its defense of these oral history materials.”