Q&A with Ed Moloney – Producer & Co-Writer
How did you come to know Dolours Price?
I knew her from a distance during student days at Queens University in Belfast, when we both attended civil rights meetings but I first met her properly just after she had got out of jail in 1981;
What kind of person was she in your experience?
I always found her to be great fun to be with, full of stories, always happy but with an undercurrent of great sadness or trouble. i suspect that is why she sought solace in alcohol and pills.
You were involved as a student in the civil rights movement in Belfast can you understand why she decided to join the IRA when many others did not?
it was not hard to understand why she joined up. it was in the family DNA, she’d been brought up in that tradition but it was anger at official misbehaviour and hypocrisy that drove her to join up. she joined after internment, which brought the first great wave of recruitment to the IRA when they were quite literally turning people away. She was not alone; many, many others followed in her footsteps.
What were the circumstances which led to the interview?
She had participated in the earlier Boston College exercise but, with our approval, had not spoken about what is in the film. Later, anger at the lies of her former leaders led her to speak more and more openly. She had already given one very dangerous interview to the media and was about to give another when I intervened and suggested she tell us the full story on the record which would then be put in a place of safety until after her death when her story could be told. Unfortunately her first interview later triggered the Police investigation and subpoenas but with the making of this film I am now fulfilling the promise that was made to her, and to tell her full life story, to put what happened in the context of a tragic life.
Why do you think that she wanted to tell her story after so much time had passed?
Anger. The same emotion that led her into the IRA. This time her anger was fuelled by the denials of Gerry Adams that he had never been in the IRA, whereas she had taken orders from him when he was Belfast commander, directly and indirectly, to carry out IRA violence. He had for instance led the planning along with her of the first bombings of London in 1973. It was always her case that Gerry Adams gave the orders to ‘the Unknowns’ to disappear people like Jean McConville. Adams’ denial that he had been in the IRA and therefore played no part in ‘disappearing’ people pushed her, I believe, into wanting to tell the truth. She was most upset by the disappearing of Joe Lynskey, a fellow IRA member who had broken the rules and accepted his fate because he believed in the IRA, its ethos and its rules. The contrast between Lynskey and Adams in this regard had a great and possibly fateful impact on her, I believe.
How would you respond to those who would say that convicted terrorists should not be given a platform like this to tell their story?
If that rule was applied, half the world’s leaders would be banned from the media. I am a journalist; journalists should believe in free speech for everyone not just because it is right but because it is sensible; it encourages understanding.