THE British government tried to maintain a public relations campaign against the IRA in the US at the height of the Troubles.
But it was frustrated by what diplomats perceived as a courts system favourable to the terrorists – and a sympathy towards republicans there.
A series of confidential documents show the frustration by civil servants about how difficult it was to secure convictions in New York courts for those accused of republican offences.
In one communication from Washington in November 1982, a civil servant states how a recent trial had shown the US had been used for gun-running for the last 25 years.
"What is difficult to establish in American minds is the link between the dollar that people give at the pub or in a parade and the consequences in terms of human suffering which most of them abhor," the note states.