This was Today Tonight’s second trip to Tripoli seeking an interview with Ghadaafi. He was known to be a supporter of the Provisional IRA and later shown to have been their biggest provider of arms and explosives. He was held to be a supporter of international terrorism and responsible for the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy, London, and also for the Berlin pub bombing in which two American soldiers died. In April 1986 US military aircraft took off from a UK base and attacked Ghadaafi’s compound. The Dictator survived, it is said, because he was asleep in his tent away from the family home. The Today Tonight interview was Ghadaafi’s first substantial television interview since the American bombing.
Today Tonight Reporter Una Claffey asked Ghadaafi straight out whether he had supplied money or arms directly to the IRA. Ghadaafi, who spoke good English, answered through an interpreter: “We are obliged to support such a cause and repeat it is a just one”.
He said that Northern Ireland was a British colony.
In an off-camera conversation with producer Paul Loughlin Ghadaafi asked how many Catholics and how many Protestants there were in Ireland. Paul replied that there were approximately four million Catholics in the whole island and over a million Protestants. Ghadaafi said; “Well the Catholics are right”.