TWO soldiers were shot dead last night and two others were seriously injured as dissident republicans are believed to have brought violence back to the streets of Northern Ireland.
This is terrible, not least for the people of Northern Ireland, who must by this point have really thought that they had a lasting peace. But the scum that set the bomb in Omagh haven’t really gone away, they have just been biding their time.
A policeman was murdered in Northern Ireland last night days after two British soldiers were killed by republicans.
Then this, as if any further proof were needed that such types had never really gone away.
It was interesting this week when the head of the PSNI asked for British special forces to return to Ireland, as far as I knew, they never left. I don’t think that anyone, anywhere in the British establishment really believed that the IRA, and the republican movement had just gone away.
The facts were that in the late 90s the IRA were becoming less and less successful in their aims, they were becoming less and less popular amongst republicans, and their leaders got a sniff of real power, in politics. So they said what the British wanted to hear, made some empty promises and nodded their heads at the right moments, all with their fingers crossed.
What the resurgent IRA don’t seem to understand, or perhaps care about, is that no-one in Northern Ireland wants to go back to the dark days of the troubles. The IRA is less popular amongst republicans than it has ever been, its unpopularity helped in no small part by the Omagh bombing.
Scene of bombing – 29 people were killed many of them children
Twenty nine people died in the Omagh bombing and it displayed clearly to everyone that the IRA cared little of civilians casualties, be they Protestant or Catholic. They just aimed to kill indiscriminately.
Little has changed however, the killers of the two soldiers also targeted to pizza delivery men, uncaring that they were innocent civilians.The IRA called them collaborators, in reality they were just ordinary people going about their daily business, taking life for granted; something that had become fairly common in Northern Ireland and that has been reversed in less than a week.
The reaction of the Northern Irish communities both Catholic and Protestant is vital here, they should display clearly to everyone that not only will they not support a return to violence, they won’t abide it either.