A Democratic senator described as “key” by British officials told the Secretary of State that he had been instinctively sympathetic towards the IRA but was “shaken” by the murder of Lord Mountbatten, a declassified government file records.
Senator Claiborne Pell, a Democratic member of the Foreign Relations Committee (who the following year would become chairman of the influential committee), met the Secretary of State during his visit to the US in May 1986.
A note of the meeting said: “Senator Pell argued that the US had been born out of a rebellion and therefore was naturally sympathetic towards political fugitives; and [in discussing a proposed extradition treaty] he argued that extradition of Irishmen could be extended by analogy to demands that members of the contras be extradited to Nicaragua.
“However, the murder of Lord Mountbatten had shaken him and caused him to moderate his views.”
Lord Mountbatten, who was Prince Philip’s uncle, had been murdered by the IRA in Co Sligo seven years earlier.
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Top civil servant proposed all-Ireland anti-terror police force
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Paisley condemned attacks on RUC after Robinson would not
NIO feared that Paisley might push for an independent NI
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The attitudes and nature of the DUP are frightening, said head of the Civil Service
RUC tipped off the Garda about Robinson’s ‘invasion’ of Clontibret
In 1986, Paisley believed he’d never be in another Stormont
Stormont Speaker reacted with fury when officials queried his questionable hospitality claims
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