The College of Arts and Sciences' Irish Studies Program will host Patrick Radden Keefe, investigative journalist and author of Say Nothing : A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (2019) for a public lecture and book signing in the Kelly Center's Presentation Room on April 5 at 7 PM. Students, faculty and members of the local community are welcome to this free event. Mr. Keefe will be introduced by William Abbott, PhD, co-director of the Irish Studies Program, who teaches in the History Department.
Mr. Keefe, a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, extensively researched the mystery surrounding the killing of Mrs. McConville, a mystery largely uninvestigated by the British authorities and the Northern Irish police, but which haunted the McConville children for almost half a century.
As part of his meticulous research, Keefe acquired access to the secret oral history files and audio recordings of IRA activities and confessions that were stored for two decades at the John J. Burns Library at Boston College. Known as the Belfast Project, the oral history initiative was privately funded by a wealthy American business man in 2001, following the Good Friday Agreement, and was intended to be used by future generations of scholars. Mr. Keefe discusses the contents of the secret material and how it became available to him.
Say Nothing was awarded the 2019 National Book Critics Award (nonfiction), and received the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing. He is the recipient of an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellowship at the American Foundation and of a Guggenheim Fellowship. His recent book, Empire of Pain: The Secret History of The Sackler Family, was published to critical acclaim in 2021.