Monday 22 January 2018

Cosgrave and Lynch stopped slaughter in Northern Ireland

Prevented deaths: Liam Cosgrave
Prevented deaths: Liam Cosgrave
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

One Sunday in August 1969, when tensions were rising in Northern Ireland, British PM Harold Wilson "imagined" he had the immediate answer to end British involvement there.

He telephoned the then-Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, on a secure line, informing him he would have no objection to the Republic sending the Irish Army into the North.

Prior to the phone call, Wilson had in fact ordered the general officer commanding (GOC) of the British army in Northern Ireland to confine all troops to barracks from midnight on the following Tuesday, for 72 hours. He further directed that the troops in the barracks could only defend their barrack if it came under direct attack: they were to take no part whatsoever in any occurrence outside the barrack.

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