True peace will come to North when the truth can be told without fear

Talking to activists and spectators helps us understand why people behaved as they did during the Troubles. The PSNI’s decision to pursue the Boston College archive put paid to any independent effort to find out the truth

20th October, 2019
Jean McConville with three of her children before she vanished in 1972 Pic: PA

If there was one thing that emerged with clarity from the acquittal of Ivor Bell in Belfast last week on charges connected to the murder of Jean McConville, it was the peril of relying on oral history for evidence that is strong and persuasive enough to secure a conviction for such a serious charge.

Oral history is, at best, a rough guide to what happened in real life. Its primary purpose is to gain an...

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