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Bomb-hit city gets back to normality after blast chaos

A sense of normality was finally returning to Londonderry yesterday after the chaos that descended on the city following the 200lbs Real IRA bomb on Tuesday.

The car bomb exploded outside the Ulster Bank on the Culmore Road just after midnight and caused serious damage to the building.

Families evacuated from their homes have now been allowed to return and businesses in the complex where the bomb exploded have reopened. The bomb caused severe traffic disruption in the city, with many of the main access routes to the city centre closed.

However, only the stretch of road from the Pennyburn roundabout down to the Culmore Road in front of the complex remained closed yesterday. Police reopened the road last night.

The residents of nearby Farren Park are now back in their homes, but many remain scathing about the dissident republicans who orchestrated the explosion.

Josephine Doherty had to pick up her two young daughters and vacate her home.

She said: “We had to go. But my real fear was for my mother who has cancer and is just not able to leave but, thankfully, her home was far enough away and she was allowed to stay.”

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Teague Whoriskey owns Four Star Pizzas, one of the shops in the complex caught up in the blast.

He was back behind the counter of his shop yesterday evening.

Mr Whoriskey said: “At least there was no damage done to the shop and, hopefully, once the road is fully open we can get back to business properly.”

Condemning the attack, civil rights veteran Eamonn McCann said: “It was totally inappropriate that there should be a bombing in Derry on October 5. This was the date when the civil rights movement first brought masses out onto the streets to oppose injustice.”

Meanwhile, speaking before the Assembly, SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey vowed that the people of Derry “shall overcome” the dissidents.

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