Peter Taylor has a piece up on the BBC news website advertising tomorrow night’s Northern Irish segment in his new four part series The Age of Terrorism. He picks out the Enniskillen bomb, and the IRA’s deal with Colonel Gaddafi as the key moments in the IRA’s decision to eventually eschew violence. He notes that:
Many have long thought the bombing must have been an unauthorised, one-off operation by a local unit, believing it to be inconceivable that the IRA would mount such an attack on civilians as they remembered their dead. It was nothing of the kind.
Three IRA active service units are believed to have been involved – one in the north (Fermanagh) and two in the south (Donegal and Monaghan). A second attack on another Remembrance Day parade in the border village of Tullyhommon, in Fermanagh, was also planned but the bomb failed to go off. Clearly the two attacks were co-ordinated.
At the time, local IRA units were given a degree of operational autonomy but attacks of this magnitude against such sensitive targets would not have been carried out in isolation.
Whilst Taylor notes that the direction of travel has been indisputeably positive, his remarks once again raise more stupid questions (video clip) for the Deputy First Minister, that cannot/will not be answered…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty