DUBLIN Dolours Price, one of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombers convicted of the 1973 attack on London's Old Bailey and later a vocal critic of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, died in her home in Dublin overnight, a family friend said.
Price, along with her sister, served eight years of a life sentence in Britain for the car bombing outside the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court in London that wounded more than 200 people, part of an IRA campaign to try to force British forces from its province of Northern Ireland.
The IRA disbanded after a 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of conflict between Catholic Irish nationalists seeking union with Ireland and Protestant loyalists determined to remain part of the United Kingdom. More than 3,000 people were killed.
In recent years Price was caught up in a dispute over a confidential interview she gave to researchers from Boston College, one of dozens given by former fighters from the Northern Ireland conflict.
Interviewees were told their words, which are believed to give details of possible roles played by current political figures during the Northern Ireland conflict, including Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, would remain sealed until their deaths.
Her death clears one obstacle for the release of material she gave to the archive, but neither the researchers nor U.S. authorities immediately gave details on the exact process and Boston College declined to discuss the matter.
Exactly what Price may have said about Adams for the archive is unclear.
Another IRA figure interviewed for the archives, Brendan Hughes, died in 2008, paving the way for Boston College researchers to publish a book in which Hughes connected Adams to the 1972 death of Jean McConville.
The widowed mother of 10 was killed by the IRA on suspicion of being an informer.
The book was published in 2010, and that year Price also tied Adams to McConville's death in a newspaper interview. The Boston College researchers to date have declined to discuss what Price may have told them for the archive project, however.
Adams, a member of the Ireland's parliament, told reporters on Thursday that he has nothing to fear from the college's material and offered his sympathy on Price's death.
Irish police on Thursday said they were investigating the sudden death of a woman in her 60s in the Malahide area of Dublin late on Wednesday evening.
They said there was no initial indication of foul play.
Price had two children and was once married to Hollywood actor Stephen Rea.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin and Ross Kerber in Boston)