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An Irish appeal against American support of terror

We must seek to understand the sentiments and traditional loyalties of our compatriots in America and their feelings as exiles. It can be no part of our policy to deflect any Irish-American from supporting the achievement of Irish unity on expressing that support. On the contrary we welcome and encourage it.

But we must separate that legitimate wish and aspiration clearly from any whisper of support for violence and terrorism. That is the real task in America today. That is the distinction which we must make and continue to make. What is required is not merely condemnation as such but effective action to provide those who are in sympathy with the objectives of Irish unity with an alternative -- a clearly defined Irish government policy to which they can dedicate themselves.

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I would not wish to present any organization sponsoring or supporting violence with gratuitous publicity which, however adverse, may have the very opposite effect to that intended. The efforts of the government will be directed primarily at promoting our own positive policies on as wide a front as possible. By winning support from them everywhere we can isolate the men of violence.

Nevertheless, since opposition spokesmen have provided these peripheral organizations with the sort of free publicity on which they thrive, I believe that not much more harm can be done by dealing with specific organizations on this one occasion. There is clear and conclusive evidence available to the government here from security and other sources that NORAID [Irish Northern Aid Committee] has provided support for the campaign of violence and indeed direct assistance in its pursuit. On the basis of these activities, it stands condemned and I appeal to all in America who have the interests of Ireland at heart not to give this body any support, financial or moral.

The evidence available to us also of the associations that exist between NORAID and the Irish National Caucus casts grave suspicion on the latter organization. That is not to say that there are not among the members of that body or its supporters, many fine people who are not aware of its undesirable associations. It is important that they should be aware of the realities.

The situation in Ireland today is such that no individual, whether private citizen or elected member of Congress, should by any statement or association, lend support to those whose actions serve only to delay Irish unity. I say now to all supporters of the bodies I have mentioned that they should carefully consider whether the cause they profess to serve would not now best be served by uniting in firm support of the policy of the Irish government which is directed towards bringing about the unity and prosperity of the Irish people.

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