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HEATHROW got off lightly from the attack. But to suggest that this was planned, and that the mortars were somehow mere warning shots, would be to misunderstand the IRA. It was not cool calcu lation that prevented catastrophe, but chance that no plane was hit. Only two minutes before the attack a plane had landed on the northern runway of Terminal One . . . The IRA is for the moment acting in the old way. It has, thank God, not shot down a plane. But the Ulster peace process has been severely damaged.

Suddeutsche Zeitung, German daily

IT WAS clear the (peace) process was not going to be easy. But at least the governments of London and Dublin did not seem to want to slam the door on any possibility, any exit. The facts have slammed it for them. Besides, when you negotiate anything beyond a halt to violence with terrorists, no concession is ever enough for them.

Sinn Fein . . . continues to be a fundamentally military organisation directed by IRA leaders. As a result, it refused to participate in any negotiations with London or Dublin until Britain had pulled out its army completely from Ulster, ie until it was recognised that (the IRA) had won the war.

To top it all, last week Molyneaux's Unionists, who until then had maintained an ambiguous position towards the British-Irish offer, put forward a condition that was impossible to fulfil . . . they demanded the re-establishment of a parliament in Belfast with executive powers. The IRA and the Unionists may have buried the new peace effort.

El Pais, Spanish daily