Leaders of a Roman Catholic women's peace campaign in Londonderry planned new efforts on Thursday (25 May) to end the bloodshed in Northern Ireland.
Leaders of a Roman Catholic women's peace campaign in Londonderry planned new efforts on Thursday (25 May) to end the bloodshed in Northern Ireland. The women leaders from the Catholic Bogside and Creggan estates, met the local commander of the Official wing of the outlawed Irish Republican Army (I.R.A.) to brief him on their talks of Wednesday (24 May) with Mr. William Whitelaw, Britain's Minister for Northern Ireland.
The meeting with the Official I.R.A. leader, Mr. Johnny White, took place on a day which was one of the quietest since direct rule from Britain was imposed nine weeks ago. The army's operations were low-key, and little more than static operations, such as checkpoints, were mounted. Mr. White reportedly gave the order too kill William Best, the Roman Catholic British soldier whose murder last weekend brought the peace movement into the open.
Mr. Martin McGuiness, the Londonderry commander of the Provisional wing of the I.R.A., said that while he would listen to the women when they met him, the Provisional I.R.A. wouldn't stop fighting until its demands were met.
Beth wings of the I.R.A. have already rejected the peace overture and it appeared unlikely that the women would succeed in persuading the underground army to call off its assaults on British forces.