Page 4, 7th February 1997

7th February 1997
Page 4
Page 4, 7th February 1997 — IRA prisoners do not deserve our sympathy

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IRA prisoners do not deserve our sympathy

YOUR COLUMNIST Jack O'Sullivan's remarks ("Sister loses faith in the system", Catholic Herald, 24 January) led one to consider wider issues vis a vis Irish terrorism and the coverage it receives in your newspaper.

It perhaps shows something of Mr O'Sullivan's priorities that he deplores movement of convicted mass murderers around Her Majesty's prisons (many of which, particularly the Maze in Northern Ireland, have somewhat lax conditions), while not caring to mention the thousands cruelly disposed of by those men and women.

The fact that miscarriages of justice inevitable in the fairest judicial systems have occurred is irrelevant; the crime for which the convicted are serving can be the only criterion for consideration.

What is more serious than your publication of partisan journalism, however, is that it is not ever seriously rebuffed.

Yes, you may periodically condemn the IRA, but I cannot remember an article in your paper written from a Unionist point of view.

As a Catholic paper, rather than print articles expecting Catholics to have some sort of responsibility for their murderous co-religionists, you should be detailing the horrific terror which Catholics in Republican housing estates live under courtesy of the IRA. Indeed, if it wasn't for the British presence in Ulster, so scathingly criticised by Mr O'Sullivan, it is likely that many more lives would be destroyed in the likely civil war folowing our withdrawal.

I will not be surprised if you do not publish this letter, but a generally more balanced cobverage of North em Ireland would be very welcome.

Francis Hoar South Molton, Devon I READ Jack O'Sullivan's article with increasing astonishment at the partiality of the man, in favour of the IRA criminals who have deprived innumerable families of their loved ones. Perhaps some other worthy man would now write a book in defence of the thousands who have suffered at the hands of such miscreants Catholic or Protestant whose idea of justice is to kill and maim indiscriminately, knowing that no matter how many they succeed in murdering, they will never get their way.

Of course, bugging confessionals is a gross infringement against freedom of religion as well as of civil liberties, and certainly no solution to the problem.

Frank Magro Malta

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