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Thread: British believed elements of the IRA wanted peace in 1981

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    Politics.ie Member Portadown madman's Avatar
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    Default British believed elements of the IRA wanted peace in 1981

    Papers disclose Thatcher was told of unnamed “Provisionals” prepared to consider stopping “terrorist campaign"

    Full story here.

    British believed elements of IRA wanted peace in 1981 - Irish News, World News & More | The Irish Times - Sat, Apr 27, 2013

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    Sounds like a negotiating tactic to me.

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    Politics.ie Member Portadown madman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levellers View Post
    Sounds like a negotiating tactic to me.
    So what went wrong??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portadown madman View Post
    So what went wrong??
    On the prison issue.

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    Politics.ie Member TiredOfBeingTired's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levellers View Post
    Sounds like a negotiating tactic to me.
    Probably.
    It was possibly an early move in a long,slow process.

    I'll keep the radar switched on for info on further steps in 1981, but I wont be surprised if they dont exist.
    Further steps would include further documentation papers, meetings, back channels being created, phone conversations etc...

    I suspect these types of "possible peace" came up every couple of years.
    1981 would have been a tricky year to do much negotiating.
    Sometimes there is very little between historical and hysterical. One passes for the other. In time, the former remains forever, the latter is quickly replaced...

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    Politics.ie Member Portadown madman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiredOfBeingTired View Post
    Probably.
    It was possibly an early move in a long,slow process.

    I'll keep the radar switched on for info on further steps in 1981, but I wont be surprised if they dont exist.
    Further steps would include further documentation papers, meetings, back channels being created, phone conversations etc...

    I suspect these types of "possible peace" came up every couple of years.
    1981 would have been a tricky year to do much negotiating.
    I'm sure more info is about, I'd love to know who made the final decision, who said NO.

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    Politics.ie Member vivabrigada's Avatar
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    Thatcher believed the IRA would shoot hunger strikers if the refused to go through with the fast so that's how out of touch she was. Brendan Duddy was acting as a go-between at the time so I am sure there were discussions. What went wrong was the hunger strikes radicalised many Nationalists into Republicans. Paisley achieved the same result a decade earlier.

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    Politics.ie Member pinemartin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivabrigada View Post
    Thatcher believed the IRA would shoot hunger strikers if the refused to go through with the fast so that's how out of touch she was. Brendan Duddy was acting as a go-between at the time so I am sure there were discussions. What went wrong was the hunger strikes radicalised many Nationalists into Republicans. Paisley achieved the same result a decade earlier.
    What went wrong was that you need two sides to want a political solution. Anyone who looks at the history of the north understands that the war was over by 81 and it was a matter of finding a way of making peace. Unfortunately with Mrs T and elements within the British government peace for them meant a military victory. Peace was achievable only when someone on the British side decided that compromise was necessary. Look how quickly the process started after Mrs T and her ilk lost power.

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    Politics.ie Member Cruimh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinemartin View Post
    Unfortunately with Mrs T and elements within the British government peace for them meant a military victory.
    Cobblers. If they had wanted a military solution they could have wiped out the Provo Leadership and many of their underlings. The Provos had to be seen to accept that NI was not being put into an All-Ireland Republic. And a way had to be found that they could do that with some sort of face saving formula.

    And the article is a bit misleading IMO

    The Provisionals need to settle the prisons problem on terms they can represent as acceptable to them if they are to go on – as we know some of them wish to do – to consider an end of the current terrorist campaign.
    Only "some of them" - if the majority of the Republican Movement had seen what Adams and McGuinness would settle for in the future - surrender, decommissioning, ending abstentionism and recognising the validity of NI - then Adams and McGuinness would have been disappeared.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruimh View Post
    Cobblers. If they had wanted a military solution they could have wiped out the Provo Leadership and many of their underlings..
    Thankfully the people in power at the time didn't contemplate that kind of ludicrous thinking. I shudder to think what the outcome of such an action might have been. The entire north of Ireland could have blazed into all out Civil War and no doubt it would have spilled over into the Free State and mainland Britain. Thousands might have been killed and its not inconceivable that the UN would have been forced to intervene. Peace would have been put off for decades further and the blood spilled would have been catastrophic.

    I can't overestimate how disastrous the situation would have become if the British Government took such a course of action. Thankfully blood-lusting lunatics like Cruimh weren't the ones calling the shots at the time.

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