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Ministerial Broadcast: The Prime Minister (January 1992)
#1
There now follows a ministerial broadcast by the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Aubyn Myerscough, MP


Ladies and gentlemen,


I speak to you tonight as we mourn and grieve a terrible loss of life. 8 officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and 5 innocent civilians lost their lives in an attack by the PIRA. 


I want to pass my condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives - on behalf of the entire nation. I have already spoken to the family of the 8 RUC officers to say they are in our thoughts and hearts. Their sacrifice - and commitment to our country - will not be forgotten by our nation.


I also want to take a moment to address the people of Boyle. You did not ask for the PIRA to base themselves there. I am sorry that they did so, and that they you faced the horror of a PIRA bomb in your town. You and your community are in my thoughts and the thoughts of our nation as you seek to recover from this senseless attack. 


I appreciate that the news is difficult for many to hear. An operation conducted by Britain with the agreement of the Republic of Ireland is unusual, but it was necessary.


Ultimately, ladies and gentleman, this PIRA attack was an attack on Britain; it was an attack on Ireland too. Our two nations are bound together in this fight against terrorism. The terrorists do not speak for the Republic of Ireland, anymore they speak for Northern Ireland. These events prove, sadly, that it is clear that the PIRA are a threat to both nations, and every person on the islands we share.


This terrible tragedy was inflicted by individuals who care nothing for life, peace, freedom, democracy and security. They care nothing for the values of the British people or the Irish people. They seek only violence, destruction, and fear. They seek to test us and to break our resolve. But we will not give in, nor will we give up.


Let me be clear: this Government is dedicated to securing peace and security in Northern Ireland, and to working with the Republic of Ireland to achieve that. We will not be deterred from this goal because every family on this British Isles deserves nothing less. This nation remains resolute: we will not be defeated by terror.


And I do believe that while we mourn tonight for the fallen and their families, we have taken an important step forward for peace and security in our islands. The capture of the PIRA’s chief of staff, a man indirectly responsible for the slaughter of many innocent people on these isles, has been captured - and will be held accountable for his actions. 


While we take a moment to reflect, we must also take a moment to look forward and ensure the sacrifice is not in vain. Tonight, I rededicate myself - and my Government - to every effort required to build peace and security. I hope you will join me in that dedication. Peace is only built when the whole nation contributes to that effort.


For we are eight years from a new millennium, a millennium of great possibility for future generations. And we should all consider what our legacy to those generations that come live in that millennium will be. Will it be peace and security in the British Islands, or will it be violence and chaos? 


We owe it to our children, our grandchildren and all the future generations a British Isles that is peaceful, that is secure, and that is democratic. Let that be our legacy of this generation: peace, prosperity, and hope for the future. Only through firm action against those which seek to do us harm can we achieve that. 


Tonight we mourn, but tomorrow it is time to rededicate ourselves to that cause of security and peace. We cannot fail. 


Thank you. 
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#2
Ministerial broadcasts are something of a rare event, and are usually an opportunity for the Prime Minister to express their sympathies and to offer some platitudes. The Prime Minister does this well, starting with a round of sympathies expressed to the RUC, the victims, and the people of Boyle generally. The attacks on the IRA are expected, but I feel as if the real audience for this middle section are the people of Ireland, and crucially the Irish government, with a clear commitment to cross-border negotiation. Mentioning the capture of McKenna, the one success of the mission, doesn't make things look like a complete disaster. The closing thoughts about the impending new millennium is one that reflects the wider messaging of the government when it comes to facing the future, and it never hurts to get the message out there once again, even in a situation like this.


Overall, a nice statement which seems to the public as genuine enough, but is unlikely to make much of an impact in the grand scheme of things. XP to Myerscough.
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