The loneliest, longest walk…

I THOUGHT it was a touch ironic when I discovered the ‘bomb squad’ in Northern Ireland was called 321 EOD Squadron, given the number of timing devices Ammunitiion Technical Officers saw counting down at the height of the Troubles. Today, Tony Blair paid tribute to the bravery of the men and woman who took the Long Walk and saved countless lives – losing many of their own along the way.A new book by Chris Ryder tells their story.

The unit had canine symbols as mascots – cats have nine lives – but the ingenuity of IRA bomb makers meant ATOs were often involved in a technological cat-and-mouse game with paramilitaries.

More Sunday Life stories on the ‘bomb squad’ here.