by Peter Stanford THE Provisional IRA has responded to the refusal of Bishop Edward Daly of Derry to allow paramilitary style funerals in his churches by announcing that it is to suspend the controversial practice.
However, it stressed in its announcement that it does not intend to dispense with all paramilitary displays and may resort to such practices as firing shots on the eve of funerals of known members of the organisation. They fell back on this device last week at the funeral of IRA man Lawrence Marley.
However, at another funeral in west Belfast Fr Tom Toner condemned what he described as the IRA's false gospel of murder, torture and blackmail. Speaking at the burial of 30-year-old Charlie MclImurray who was tortured and then killed by the "Provos" because he had allegedly worked for the RUC Special Branch, Fr Toner said: "If Charlie had been abducted by the security forces and left dead with a hood over his head and his hands bound, there would have been a mighty hue and cry, and rightly so. There would have been loud demands for intervention by the cardinals and howls for dramatic action by Bishop Daly (of Down and Connor). Where are they now, these arbitors of moral law who would use the cardinal and the bishop to spread their own false gospel?"
Fr Denis Faul, the chaplain to the Maze Prison, has stated emphatically that McIlmurray was not a police informer but a frightened man blackmailed by the security forces into working for them.
El In an interview with the Irish Press, Fr Francis Ryan OMI who helps run a hostel for the homeless in Kilburn, north London, has stated that forged passports provided by an official in the Irish Embassy were part of a wider scale criminal racket. Fr Ryan said that a phoney marriage racket which enabled young North African women to obtain Irish passports was "big industry" in London. He urged the Irish government to extend its current investigation into the sale of forged passports to encompass the marriage racket.
The racket had involved young Irish men who didn't have any money, Fr Ryan said. He revealed that he and his colleagues were not looking into the possibility of annuling such marriages.