Cardinal gambles on Maze
From Des Cryan in Dublin CARDINAL Tomas 0 Fiaich, after calling on hunger strikers to end their action earlier this week, has taken a dangerous gamble by his involvement with a new association of hunger strikers' families.
Also in the Help the Prisoners Group is Mrs Bernadette McAliskey, the most formidable of the H-Block prisoners supporters.
While this group has its origins in the totally understandable desire of the hunger strikers' relatives to save the lives of their sons or, in some instances, husbands, there are already signs that the involvement of the Cardinal and Bishop Daly of Derry has opened up the possibility of exploitation of the Church's role by the Provisional IRA in the United States and elsewhere.
Its a calculated risk which the churchmen have had to take. The initiative for the formation of the new body has come from Father Denis Faul of Dungannon and Father Raymond Murray of Armagh, two priests who have maintained consistently close contact with the Maze prisonets and their families outside.
Mrs McAliskey, ominously has already spoken scathingly of the new organisations lack of any proper role in the crisis, asking how it can intend to monitor prison reform in the absence of detailed knowledge of what the British authorities have actually got to offer.
It has also came to light that, following the mishandling by the Northern Ireland Office of an invitation to the Cardinal to meet Mrs Thatcher during her recent one-day visit to Northern Ireland, a secret meeting between the two took place on July 1, at the Prime Minister's invitation.
The meeting failed to produce any tangible results at a time when the initiative of the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace seemed to be succeeding beyond all expectations.
A further worsening of the situation, aside from the Turn to page 8