The Irish government is expected to introduce tougher anti-terrorist measures against guerrillas after the assassination of the British Ambassador, Christopher Ewart-Biggs in Dublin, on 21 July.
The Irish government is expected to introduce tougher anti-terrorist measures against guerrillas after the assassination of the British Ambassador, Christopher Ewart-Biggs in Dublin, on 21 July. A group, claiming to be members of the outlawed provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), recently took a French Television crew to an alleged secret training ground for terrorists in the Irish Republic.
SYNOPSIS: The television crew were blindfolded for much of their journey but said afterwards they thought they were taken to a spot in County Mayo. A possible confirmation for this came a few days later when security forces discovered tents and equipment near the town of Sheefry, County Mayo. Local residents also told police of explosions and gunfire they had heard in he area at the time.
The group filmed by French Television were well armed and performed a mock raid for the cameras. Both wings of the IRA -- the Provisionals and the Officials -- are outlawed in the Irish Republic, Northern Ireland and Britain. However, the political groups linked with the IRA wings, known as Sinn Fein, are not illegal organisations. And it is with Provisional Sinn Fein that the British government has maintained contact during the continued violence in Northern Ireland. This action has led to an increasing amount of criticism in the British Parliament over what some politicians see as maintaining links with a terrorist group.
The IRA are seeking British withdrawal from Northern Ireland and the integration of the counties with those in the Irish Republic. The move is strongly opposed by the Protestant majority in Northern Ireland and has led to the formation of a number of so-called 'loyalist' terrorist groups. The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) is one of those groups and has also been outlawed for its activities. Political assassinations in the north reached a record 144 in 1975. Another 247 died as a result of what police call 'indiscriminate violence'. But there is no sign of an end to the killing that has so far lasted for seven years.