Though Republicans and Unionists share power in Northern Ireland, plenty of raw — albeit buried — political and sectarian divisions still remain. A large part of maintaining peace has been keeping the past in the past, which is why when former members of the IRA and loyalist paramilitary groups told their stories for an academic archive to be stored in the US, they were assured that their testimonies would remain secret until they died. On Monday however, a federal judge in Boston decided that some of the tapes and transcripts should be handed over to the police in Northern Ireland who are investigating the abduction and murder of Jean McConville by the IRA in 1972.
This process is particularly destabilizing to maintaining the peace process because Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is implicated in these tapes. A full hearing on the matter will now take place on January 24.
For more on this story, The Takeaway is joined by Kevin Cullen, a columnist for The Boston Globe's Metro section.