Editor's Viewpoint: Terror must not win political fight
The disgusting bomb attack by republican dissidents in Lurgan at the weekend, which injured three children, was an act of heartless terror, and those responsible have been described rightly by First Minister Peter Robinson as “depraved and evil”.
He was joined in his condemnation by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who said: “These attacks must stop, and stop now. This is not the way forward for any section of our society.”
It is a miracle that none of the children were badly injured in the no-warning explosion, and the callousness and depravity of this action is a throwback to the Omagh bomb of 12 years ago.
The Omagh bomb killed 29 people — including a young woman who was expecting twins — and the trauma of that day lives on.
The inter-denominational service in Omagh yesterday was a reminder of the suffering, but also a reassurance that the condemnation of the atrocity crosses all boundaries.
Nevertheless, the Lurgan bomb — as well as other bombs and attempts to kill and maim members of the security forces in recent weeks — was also a grim reminder that a minority of ruthless men and women in our midst, and their supporters, refuse to accept the lessons of history.
The Provisional IRA campaign showed over several tortured decades that violence does not provide a solution, and that the only way forward is political agreement.
Anyone who leaves a bomb which endangers children is almost beyond rational thought, and deserves the full rigour of the law.
However, one of the most difficult challenges facing all of us — and our political and community leaders in particular — is to convince the die-hards of the utter stupidity of their self-defeating strategy.
The bomb and the bullet cannot, and must not, be allowed to prevail.