Letter: Referendums, North and South, for Ireland

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Referendums, North and South, for Ireland

From Mr Joe Murphy

Sir: On Sunday night in London we all glimpsed the abyss. In particular, both the IRA and the British government glimpsed the possible consequences of explosives being transported around London for an unrestrained bombing campaign.

The problem now is that the IRA are absolutely opposed to internal Northern Ireland elections and the British Government feels it cannot now compromise, for fear of being seen to give in to terrorism and for fear of the loyalist reaction.

Therefore, of the three proposals that have been made to get back on the political track (proximity talks, elections or referendums North and South) only referendums contain an element that can appeal to each of the parties: repudiation of violence, a plebiscite, and talks. It is a compromise, midway between proposals for proximity talks and elections.

Let all the people speak, and give peace one last chance, by grasping this honourable compromise.

Yours etc,

Joe Murphy

Handsworth, Birmingham

The writer was secretary of the Campaign for the Birmingham Six (England).