Belfast Telegraph carries a story on President Nixon’s reactions to Bloody Sunday.“Former US President Richard Nixon considered sending a celebrity self-help guru to Northern Ireland to heal divisions after Bloody Sunday, new White House tapes released to the Belfast Telegraph have revealed.
Nixon also considered sending fundamental Protestant preacher, Billy Graham and the Catholic Cardinal of New York, Terence Cooke.
The tapes show how the Nixon administration strongly sided with the British government but wanted to show that they were listening to the concerns of Irish nationalists.
In a conversation with his Secretary of State, William Rogers, Nixon twice says that he does not want to embarrass the British. He agrees not to give in to the Irish government’s demands that troops be withdrawn from Catholic areas.
In another part of the tape Rogers tells Nixon that the Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, wanted a meeting to discuss the aftermath of Bloody Sunday. Nixon tells him to tell Lynch that he is busy with a trip to China.
The nine-minute conversation took place only hours after crowds burnt down the British embassy in Dublin in response to Bloody Sunday.”
“In the first half of the February 2 conversation obtained last month, President Nixon angrily claimed that the Irish were “pretty goddamn bad” and that the people who burnt down the British embassy in Dublin were the type of people who voted for the Kennedys in the United States. He also denounced Senator Edward Kennedy for “demagoguing it” by siding with Irish nationalists.”