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Rail line terrorists behind the times

Published 29/01/2016

ON Sunday and Monday, there was disruption to trains at Lurgan because of a security alert.

If it turns out to be the responsibility of dissident republicans then people will again ask why the Belfast to Dublin railway service continues to be a target for such groups.

It is highly likely that those responsible for organising and carrying out the campaign against the rail service could not give a rational explanation for what they are doing. Perhaps a short history lesson might help.

The tactic of attacking and disrupting trains was used extensively by the IRA during the War of Independence (1919-1921).

At that time, trains were used to move uniformed British soldiers and their equipment around the-then extensive Irish rail network.

Thus, by attacking the train services, the IRA sought to disrupt the Army's logistical operations.

However, the British security forces of today do not use scheduled train services.

So, decades after the original rationale for the attacks has disappeared, the out-of-date tactic continues to be employed.

The IRA of 1919-1921 also attacked telegraph offices and cut telegraph wires. No doubt the dissidents of today, with a 1919 IRA manual in hand, are actively searching for the location of telegraph equipment.

MARTIN MELAUGH

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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