by David Browne
IRISH chaplains working in Britain have issued a condemnation of the recent IRA bombing attacks in London. They have called on Irish people living in Britain to do everything possible to bring to justice those who carried out the attacks.
"The priests, Brothers and Sisters of the Irish Chaplaincy Scheme in Britain unequivocally condemned the recent bombing outrages in mainland Britain as totally opposed to the laws of God and man, and not in the interests of achieving a just solution to the problems that exist in Northern Ireland," they said. The statement was issued after the chaplains' annual conference in London to discuss the tensions facing the Irish community in British cities.
They said they regretted that acts of violence were sometimes .presented as if they were carried
out in the name of the peopi e of Ireland.
Cardinal Tomas 0 Fihich, speaking at a church in Arm agh, warned that participation in acts of violence by para-mil itary groups was sinful. He mentioned specifically the IRA. "Let me therefore state in sirnple language. with all the author ity at my command. that particip ation in the evil deeds of this or any other paramilitary organisation which indulges in mu E7der, wounding intimidation, kidnapping. destruction of property and other forms of violence, is a mortal sin which will on day have to be accounted for before God in judgment," he said .
To co-operate in any way with such organisations is sinful and if the co-operation is su bstanfiah then the sin is mortal."
Bishop Edward Daly of Derry. in a pastoral letter re ad at churches throughout the Derry
diocese last Sunday, said no-one could remain a member of the Church and at the same time belong to an organisation which has "cold-blooded murder as a central part of its strategy'', He said such people must make a clear choice — they cannot have it both ways. As a Catholic bishop. I have a duty above all to he unequivocal about any immoral campaign that is waged allegedly on behalf of or in the interests of the Catholic community here in the North of Ireland," Bishop Daly said a political solution was needed urgently for the problems of Northern Ireland. but it has to be found through peaceful means. Too often in the past political decisions had been made under the threat of violence. and this sowed the seed of future instability.
The parish of Strabane in County Tyrone came out in force last Sunday to support their priest, Fr Anthony Mulvey, in his criticism of the Provisional IRA. Nearly 1,500 people gathered at the church without his knowledge, and greeted him with a standing ovation and cheering. lie had called on the people of Strabane to treat the IRA as outcasts. and to co-operate with the Police and British Army, following the murder of a part-time soldier by IRA men in the town.
During last weekend slogans were daubed on the church walls, calling Fr Mulvey a traitor. He said he had been overwhelmed by the spontaneous show of support he was given, "It was astonishing. I believe it reflects a feeling among most ordinary people in Northern Ireland that they just can't take any more violence.
"I don't believe that many could care less about Irish nationalism and getting rid of the border. They just want to live in peace.'