Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Editor's Viewpoint: Terrorism only leaves legacy of loss and pain

It is evident that dissident republicans are ratcheting up their terror campaign in ever more desperate attempts to kill or injure police officers.

The booby-trap bomb attack on a former officer in east Belfast was particularly despicable, as it is believed the terrorists had been watching the man's movements for some time and knew that he frequently left his daughter to school. She was about to get in to the car yesterday when he spotted the suspicious device.

To most people it is incomprehensible that anyone could be so evil as to deliberately put the life of a 12-year-old child in jeopardy.

From bitter experience we know that police officers – some even after they left the force – are frequent targets of terrorists, and dissidents have killed one, Ronan Kerr, and severely injured another, Peadar Heffron, in recent years through the use of booby-trap bombs attached to their cars.

But in their lust to kill officers, the terrorists, like their Troubles counterparts, are willing to take the lives of close family members as well. It is only by the greatest good fortune we are not today mourning the death of a former policeman and his little daughter.

Yesterday's bomb attack, coming shortly before Remembrance Sunday, should make us pause. It is 26 years tomorrow since the Enniskillen bombing which killed 12 people and injured 68 as they gathered at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

But it was not just republicans who were prepared to kill wantonly. Today we carry the story of a SDLP activist who was just four years old when her father, Dinny Mullen a party election agent, was shot dead by a UVF gang at his home. The gang also planned to shoot dead her mother but she escaped.

The horror of that night is still seared in to Denise Mullen Fox's memory nearly 40 years later. That is all the terrorists, of all hues, have succeeded in doing – creating a legacy of loss, pain and even bitterness which will take generations to heal. Everyone should follow the advice of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and pass any information on terrorists to the PSNI so they can be brought to justice.

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