Saturday, January 01, 2005


'Doomsday' Averted-30 Years Ago

It's always interesting at this time of year when state papers get released for the 30-year rule.
I see in the Irish Examiner they cover a meeting between Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave,senior Cabinet members and an SDLP delegation the day after the IRA killed 21 people in the Birmingham pub bombings in November 1974.
Hume referred to a worst-case scenario which he called "doomsday" involving a loyalist uprising leading to British withdrawal and a full-scale civil war which would spread south.
Particularly interesting is Foreign Affairs Minister Garret Fitzgerald warning that "it could be very dangerous" to confront Britain about it.

"If the Irish Government were to indicate it was facing up to the possibility of British withdrawal,this might certainly give the British Government the alibi they almost certainly wanted to get out;in this way we would be letting them off the hook,"he's recorded as saying.

Hearing this makes you wonder why it took so long for Articles 2 and 3 to be altered.


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