The Remembrance Day Parade in Enniskillen had to be diverted as well as the wreath laying ceremony at Omagh’s Cenotaph was postponed and the area was sealed off.
The Northern Ireland Police Force (PSNI) confirmed yesterday that a viable pipe bomb was found near the War Memorial in Omagh. The march was diverted after a a small but potentially dangerous device was found near by, the wreath laying also had to be postponed as the area around the memorial was sealed off.
The incident comes exactly 30yrs after the Enniskillen Poppy Day Bomb attack where the IRA killed 12 people and the Real IRA bomb attack in Omagh where 29 people were killed.
Chief Constable George Hamilton of the PSNI called this weekends incident a “sickening and appalling act on a day which should bring people together to remember the sacrifice made by people from all our communities”.
Hamilton went on to say, “whilst our investigation into the incident is at a very early stage one strong line of enquiry is that violent dissident republicans are responsible.
“Their actions today have demonstrated the disregard and disrespect they have for this community, which has already suffered so much pain and hurt at the hands of terrorists.”
On Wednesday, the community of Enniskillen gathered at the new Presbyterian Church hall to remember the horror that brought them together and to reflect on how times have changed for Northern Ireland. But have they? Did the IRA really go away? No longer do we read in our national news papers or see on the news channels of the BBC and Sky News the weekly reports of bomb attacks, sectarian killings, the killing of British soldiers. A campaign called Op Banner where 763 British soldiers were killed during the Northern Ireland troubles that lasted 38years between 1969-2007. And many innocent civilians were killed and injured both in Northern Ireland and on the British mainland from terrorist attacks by the IRA.
But reality is, that since the Good Friday Agreement, the beginning of the power sharing administration at Stormont which collapsed due to Sinn Fein pulling out under protest, with Sinn Fein’s Leader Michelle O’Neill accusing the Democratic Unionist party and the Governments in London and Dublin of failing to fulfil their responsibilities, leaving Northern Ireland without its own leadership and at the same time stating that the British Government have repeatedly broken the Good Friday Agreement, but at the same time, the IRA have never really put down their arms and still operate in Northern Ireland today. They maybe smaller than they were in the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland, but they are still here, and the Bobby count at the hands of the IRA has continued to increase.
British Army operations ceased back in 2007 leaving the security and policing solely in the hands of the PSNI, but after this latest incident and no sign of the DUP and Sinn Fein coming together to re-ignite the power sharing and govern the country together again, making it ever more likely that Direct Rule from Westminster, could we see a return to soldiers on the streets of Northern Ireland and the troubles starting again? There is no want for this in Northern Ireland, the support for the IRA is very small, but recently seen a growing support. The Good Friday Agreement was supposed to see an end to the troubles. But with Sinn Fein refusing to put the power sharing leadership of Northern Ireland back together and putting the blame on the DUP and the British Government, this is causing friction and giving fuel to the IRA to increase activity.