We look back at the stories that were making the headlines in the Andersonstown News this week in 1979
Pope never meant to come to North
THE Pope will definitely not be coming North of the border during his Episcopal visit next month.
Sources close to Monsignor Horan, Parish Priest of Knock, say that they have it on good authority that the Pope had never at any time contemplated a visit here, and at no time intimated that he would come.
Monsignor Horan has always been very close to the Vatican regarding a Papal visit and was never in any doubt that the Pope would visit Knock. He was so sure, that he had the Papal Chair installed there more than a year ago, when the proposed visit was nothing but speculation in most circles.
The suggestion that the Pope should visit North of the border had come from some of the Irish Bishops themselves, especially the more ‘political’ orientated groups such as Bishops Edward Daly of Derry and Cathal Daly of Ardagh and Clonmacnois as well as Cardinal Ó Fiaich himself. They were anxious to make some gesture towards the Catholics in the North, who are reckoned to be the most loyal in Ireland, but who are becoming more and more disillusioned with the Catholic hierarchy’s attitude to them, as having to some extent “fallen from grace” because of the ongoing troubles in their midst.
The same source pointed out that it was somewhat less than honest of Bishop Cathal Daly of Ardagh to lay the blame for the Pope not coming this side of the border on the latest IRA activity, since a visit in the first place never did seem to be on the cards.
Some people feel that the usually well-informed Ian Paisley dropped his initial barnstorming opposition when he was told by the British Foreign Office the visit was not on.
NO-ONE with any sort of human feeling can be happy at the death of twenty-three people this week – the latest episode in Ireland’s war against Britain – even through among them were a British ex-warlord and armed British soldiers.
It’s difficult to understand and justify the killing of Louis Mountbatten’s family and friends, especially young Paul Maxwell from Enniskillen. This particular death has been largely ignored by the media and the Provos. The media and the British government in fact have made little of the death of even the soldiers in their handwringing orgy over Mountbatten’s death.
None of them seem to concerned at all about the death of a completely innocent civilian shot by British soldiers. Eighteen British soldiers died on Monday. “These are our troops” cry the loyalist politicians. They’re not. They’re as strange to us, Loyalists and Nationalists, as we are to them.
Ask any one of the bereaved families, wives, mothers, fathers, children, and they’ll tell you that the boys died away from home, on ‘foreign service’. Let them ask their public representatives at Westminster why they had to die. Because of the cowardice of the politicians in London, Belfast and Dublin, twenty-three more in one day have been added to the list of dead in our country.
Because the Thatchers and Masons, and Callaghans won’t take the steps necessary to end the war and the killing, more British families are bereaved. The politicians know what has to be done but through cowardice and self-interest they won’t do it. Their hands are red with the blood of our people and of their own. Will they never go away?
A word of warning: British and Dublin talk about increased security doesn’t mean anything, but the British Army, a law unto itself, will seek revenge. They’ve begun already in the New Lodge and Beechmount; and as before, they’ll use the Loyalists, many of whom, unfortunately, are only too ready to be used. None of us can afford to be careless – we know what happened before.
Tribute to Kathleen
A tribute, in music and song, to the late Kathleen Thompson, will be held next Wednesday, September 5th in the Green Briar.
Organised by her friends and comrades, it will present an opportunity for all to show their appreciation of the life and work of Kathleen who died earlier this year.
Groups participating will include Blackthorn, Batterin’ Ram, Tara, and Pinch of Snuff, but the organisers regret that because of lack of time they can’t accommodate all the groups and individuals anxious to take part.
Kathleen had been engaged in Irish activities all her adult life. She had a long association with the Tom Williams Commemoration and the National Graves’ Association and had organised many functions for these and other groups. She took part in her first concert in 1964 and had since performed up and down the country, especially since the present emergency began.
She gave many performances for national groups and charity, and refused even to accept expenses for functions of this kind.
Next Wednesday’s concert begins in the Green Briar at 8pm and tickets costing £1.25 are available from the National Graves’ Association or Andersonstown Social Club.