Northern Ireland news

State papers: Patrick Mayhew dismissed `peace envoy' idea

Sir Patrick Mayhew said there appeared to be `an element' within republicanism who realised they couldn't win
Éamon Phoenix

SECRETARY of state Sir Patrick Mayhew gave short shrift to US President Bill Clinton's offer to appoint an Irish `peace envoy' in discussions with the German Ambassador in 1993.

This is disclosed in a note of a meeting between Sir Patrick and the incoming ambassador, Peter Hartmann in London on July 14, 1993.

The ambassador asked if there was any sign that PIRA was beginning to tire.

Sir Patrick said there appeared to be "an element" who realised they couldn't win.

If they put down their weapons and showed they meant it, there was no reason why their political representatives should not enter dialogue on Northern Ireland's future.

Dr Hartmann asked if international support for the IRA was also waning.

The British politician replied that it was certainly much lower than it had been: "Noraid was providing only $300,000 per year."

Progress in fair employment had made a considerable impact on American opinion, as had the terrorists' World Trade Center bomb.

Asked about the proposed US peace envoy, the secretary of state said that "this was an election campaign pledge that had fallen by the wayside when sanity had been restored".

Dr Hartmann thought it "very unlikely"that it would be directed as no-one, least of all Americans, had any stomach for internationalising yet another conflict.




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