We look back at the stories that were making the headlines this week in 1983

Media misquoted me – Mac Stiofain

IN an exclusive interview with the Andersonstown News, Seán Mac Stiofain – the ex-I.R.A. Chief of Staff – has slammed the All Ireland Forum as "a farce and a fraud" and stated that the war in the North will continue as long as England remains in Ireland. 

Mr. Mac Stiofain is accusing the press of misquoting and distorting an interview he gave to the Irish language newspaper Inniu. And now, in an effort to set the record straight, Seán Mac Stiofdin says:

He did not and would not call on the I.R.A to call a ceasefire. The All-Ireland Forum is a farce and a fraud and an attempt by the Southern Government to help the SDLP.
In the Inniu interview Mr. Mac Stiofain said the IRA should cease "offensive actions" and

Sinn Féin attend the All-Ireland Forum "if it is a serious and sincere thing”. Yesterday Mr. Mac Stiofain told the Andersonstown News that he now realised the Southern Government was neither "serious or sincere”. 
"It is very clear that the Forum is a political gimmick. I have always been an advocate of a real national assembly which would hear representatives of every grouping in the country including the trade unions, the unemployed, cultural bodies and political parties. 

“However this Forum is not a genuine attempt to find a solution. Speaking of reports of his alleged call for a ceasefire, he said: "I never used the word ceasefire at any time during the interview and accept that it is not my business to call for a ceasefire. 
"That decision," he went on, "lies with the leaders of the Republican Movement who understand what they are doing.

"I wouldn't have the right to call for a stop.

"As long as the British are in Ireland the war must go on,” he added.

Mr. Mac Stiofain is unhappy at the fact that the media published inaccurate accounts of his interview without contacting him. He has now written a letter to the national papers setting the record straight.

Springhill housing demands stepped up

A co-ordinated, uncompromising and radical campaign for better housing in the Springhill estate now seems on the cards. At a meeting last Sunday, residents totally rejected Housing Executive strategy for the area and called on the Executive to implement the comprehensive refurbishing plans they had offered tenants last October.

Plans which included wind and weather proofing, heating and refurbishment at a total cost of £1.6 million were shelved by the Executive just before Christmas. Residents are reported to be enraged at the Executive’s U-turn and according to Springill  Community worker Geordie McKenna, they have “had enough of broken promises”.

“This area is in terrible disrepair and the Executive's new proposals which allows for only £200,000 expenditure are a disgrace. That type of money won't even look at the problem."

Gerry Adams and Seán Keenan of Sinn Féin accompanied Geordie McKenna and residents at a meeting with the Executive on March, 15th. There it was made clear that locals would not accept the Housing Executive's cutbacks.

"Sunday's meeting endorsed this stand and appointed a pressure group to organise activities to force the Executive to carry out its original plans for the area," said Seán Keenan.

Call to  display  national flag this Easter

THE National Graves Association has called on the nationalist people of Belfast to display national flags from their homes to honour Ireland’s dead this Easter. 

They ask people not to place flags on top of buildings or to attend Easter commemorations with flags draped over their shoulders or to misuse the national colours in a manner akin to a display of football supporters' emblems. 

A spokesman said: "We would ask the public to remember that the parade on Sunday is a Republican commemoration for the purpose of remembering the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in the service of Ireland.”