gathers new steam
THE ARGUMENT over the future of Northern Ireland gathered new steam again this week with a series of statements from both sides of the border.
In the latest of them Mr O'Kennedy, Eire's Minister for Foreign Affairs, reiterated Mr Jack I.ynch's call, made last month, for a British declaration of intent to withdraw from the province.
He disclosed that the Irish Government would not reaffirm its support for for the "Sunningdale Declaration", which endorsed the fact that there could be no change in the status of Northern Ireland without the agreement of the majority of people in Ulster.
Mr O'Kennedy's statement is expected to cause further anger among Protestants. Last week the six Church of Ireland bishops with dioceses in the North hit back at both Mr Lynch and Archbishop Tomas 0 Fiaich of Armagh.
They said:"Recent statements on the constitutional future of Northern Ireland have caused our people grave concern, and we share that concern.
"As bishops responsible for the work of our Church in Northern Ireland, we are deeply conscious or the sufferings and feelings of our people and their anxiety with regard to the future of the province."
The bishops emphasised that there could be no change without the majority's consent.
Meanwhile the Church of Ireland Gazette attacked the apparent alliance between Mr Lynch and Archbishop 0 Fiaich as constituting "the very heartland of the Northern Protestants' fear of a united Ireland dominated by republicanism and Rome."