Belfast Telegraph

Cenotaph bomb bid a truly disgusting act

Editor's Viewpoint

Given the solemnity of Remembrance Day and the horror of the Enniskillen no-warning Provisional IRA bomb of 30 years ago, it beggars belief that anyone could have left a bomb near the Cenotaph in Omagh yesterday.

This outrage has rightly been described by the Chief Constable George Hamilton as "a sickening and appalling act".

Those who planted the device would have been well aware of the associations with the carnage in Enniskillen in 1987, and of the fear that will have ensued.

That is how terrorists operate, and the Omagh pipe bomb was a dark and powerful reminder of the difficult road we have travelled in Northern Ireland.

Despite this, there is cause to be positive about some of the developments which bring light to the darkness and which point to a better way for all.

For example, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar continued the precedent set by his predecessor by attending the Enniskillen Remembrance service yesterday, and placed a green laurel wreath.

He also talked most positively about the way in which bridges between the North and South of Ireland should be built from the shared suffering of the First World War.

That shared awareness led to an invitation to the Republic's Government three years ago for the Irish Ambassador to lay a wreath at the Whitehall Cenotaph, and that tradition has been maintained.

As we progress steadily through the current decade of centenaries, there has been a growing awareness of the price of freedom, and a realisation that this freedom is never without a cost.

It is right that we should remember those who lost their lives and were injured in world conflicts and during our own drawn-out Troubles.

It is particularly important that conversations still need to take place about how best, in a civic and community sense, to reflect such losses.

The many moving ceremonies over the weekend have shown a growing awareness of the need to recognise such sacrifice, and the commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War and the Somme, as well as Passchendaele and other battles, have contributed to this.

It is right that people should share the memories and lessons of these sacrifices, and yesterday's disgusting actions in Omagh should greatly galvanise that joint spirit of remembrance and defiance.

Belfast Telegraph

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