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1991 - Mr Major’s Comments on the IRA Mortar Attack

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on the 7th February IRA mortar attack on Downing Street during an interview made on Sunday 10th February 1991.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked how he reacted to the IRA mortar bomb attack].

PRIME MINISTER:

I was pretty contemptuous about it, to be frank, it is the sort of thing that people in Northern Ireland have had to live with on and off for a very considerable period of time. On this occasion the IRA have tried it in London, it is contemptible whether it is in Northern Ireland or London.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he was shaken by the attack].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I do not believe that I am shaken by it. The policies that we had before are the policies we will have in future and we have no intention of changing those as a result of this sort of attack, no intention whatsoever.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if it undermined the democratic process].

PRIME MINISTER:

The IRA have been trying to undermine the political process for a very considerable period of time, they have demonstrably failed and every time they even contemplate joining the political process they are rebuffed. The fact of the matter is they have no support from the public at large, either here or in Ireland, and nor will they have because I think the public share my feelings about the way they behave, they are as contemptuous of people who will murder indiscriminately in the way the IRA do as I am.