Loyalist women in Belfast give their views on the situation in Northern Ireland and reaction to the IRA ceasefire.

On 22 December 1974, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced a ceasefire resulting in peace in Northern Ireland over the past month. 

Eleanor Davidson, Edit Proctor, Georgina Dickson, and June Moffat welcome the newly found peace which gives them with the freedom to go into Belfast city without the threat of violence. Normally, the fear of bombings prevails, but with the ceasefire, this threat is lifted. While they hope for a continuation of peace they are not in favour of a ceasefire on IRA terms who they believe can not be trusted.

I don't really think it's right that the IRA should be allowed to say when there's a ceasefire and when there's not a ceasefire.

One woman says that they will not settle for anything less than the absolute crushing of the IRA if peace is to continue. This is a view which they believe is shared by many Catholics. 

Whatever deal is proposed by Merlyn Rees, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with will not satisfy both the IRA and the loyalists. According to the women, if Merlyn Rees appeases the IRA, it will result in a civil war on the streets of Northern Ireland. 

They are suspicious of the motivations behind the IRA calling a truce. While claiming they want peace, the only satisfactory outcome will be a complete victory for the unionists without compromise.

Ulster is ours. We want the British flag and nothing else.

The women are fearful that if the IRA carries on a campaign of violence, it will end in a blood bath. They believe that Merlyn Rees does not understand Ulster people and their message to him is simple.

No united Ireland

This episode of 'Seven Days' was broadcast on 23 January 1975.