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Session 8

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1. "Dr Noel Browne failed to obtain the support of the Cathoic Church for his 'Mother and Child Scheme'. It proved the influence of the Church in Irish politics." Discuss.

2. "The British Government have a clear objective in Northern Ireland. It is to deliver its people from the violence and fear in which they live today and to set them free to realise their great potential to the full. We want to help them to draw together; to find a system of government which will enjoy the support and the respect of the overwhelming majority. If it is to do so, such a system must emerge in large measure from the ideas and the convictions of the Northern Ireland people themselves. This is why there has to be a lengthy process of consultation, which I started on arrival, have been continuing ever since, most recently at the Darlington conference for Northern Ireland parties, and which I shall now seek to bring to fruition over the coming weeks." - William Whitelaw, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, October 1972.
Do you believe this to be a true statement of British Government policy in N. Ireland at that time? If you think not, give your reasons.
[Wm. Whitelaw was the first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who took over after the last Stormont Government under Brian Faulkner could no longer contain the situation and fell. This led to direct rule by Westminster.]

Copyright ©2008 Aidan Breen, Ph.D.