Category: Archive

Children apparent target of loyalist bomb try

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Anne Cadwallader

BELFAST — A powerful bomb in a chocolate box, carefully placed on the window sill of a Catholic family’s house in Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, on Sunday had the power to kill or seriously injure, according to the RUC.

The metal chocolate box contained a large pipe bomb attached to a cylinder of cigarette lighter fuel. The intention appears to have been to get the children of the house, two toddlers aged 2 and 3, to open it.

Had the explosive device detonated, it would have sprayed fuel and possibly incinerated the person who opened the box. As it was, the bomb failed to explode and was made safe by British Army technical experts.

The bomb appears to have been the work of the so-called Red Hand Defenders and is being treated as attempted murder by the RUC. The targeted family had apparently had no previous trouble and gets on well with its Protestant neighbors.

The same group admitted to another pipe bomb attack in North Belfast last week, claiming it had thrown the explosive device over the peace line toward Catholic housing.

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

The street where it landed used to be called the "corridor of death" because of the number of loyalist attacks on people living there. Twenty houses were evacuated while the device was made safe by the British Army.


A number of men arrested by the RUC and gárdaí during the week were released without charge, including Francie Mackey, a former Sinn Féin councilor who lives and works in Omagh, the scene of last Aug. 15 bombing.

Mackey gave a press conference in County Louth on Friday, during which he condemned the joint police arrests as "window dressing."

He was arrested at his place of work, as a "photo opportunity" to increase pressure on those who believe the Good Friday Agreement is a sell-out of basic republican demands, Mackey said.

In Drumcree

Meanwhile, the Orange Order is planning to step up its campaign in Portadown against the rerouting of last July’s march to Drumcree church away from the nationalist Garvaghy Road.

Its new plan appears to be a development of its old plan, more marches on the fringes of the Catholic area, keeping up pressure and putting nationalists under siege on Saturday and Sundays.

The former chief executive of Mirror newspapers, David Montgomery, has had informal talks in London to try to resolve the Drumcree impasse. A Downing Street spokesman said Montgomery might be able to help break the deadlock because of his standing with the Orange Order.

It appears to be more evidence of Blair’s gradual withdrawal from direct involvement in trying to resolve the impasse. Montgomery, a former member, like David Trimble, of the Loyalist Vanguard group, is also a member of the right-wing Friends of the Union group.

Speaking at a meeting in Portadown on Friday, the Democratic Unionist Party leader, the Rev. Ian Paisley, claimed the British government is prepared to force an Orange march down the Garvaghy Road, in exchange for the Ulster Unionists allowing Sinn Féin into a power-sharing executive.

Paisley, speaking to a packed meeting of the youth wing of his party, "Young Democrats," said loyalists should be prepared to "take up the cudgel" to "defend Ulster from its enemies."

"Keep your eyes glued to the TV," he said, "and you will see corroboration of what I said in the House of Commons." This was a reference to his naming of 22 alleged IRA men last month, which he said would be vindicated.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese