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Editor's Viewpoint: Parents' bravery in face of bombers

For a contrast in bravery one needs to look no further than the elderly parents of a serving police officer in Londonderry and the terrorists who have attacked them for the second time.

The Catholic couple have vowed to stay on in their home in the nationalist area even though a bomb was left there at the weekend.

Three years ago a bomb exploded at the property and another was left at the home of another of their children. Those were nerve-wracking and terrifying experiences, but the couple refused to be cowed by terrorists who skulk in the dark and attack an easy target. They are afraid even to show their faces.

It is easy to understand why the dissident republicans have targeted the family. They want to try to intimidate Catholics from joining the PSNI and they will sink to any level to do so, even bombing the homes of their elderly relatives.

It was for the same reason that Constable Peadar Heffron was attacked and greviously wounded and Constable Ronan Kerr was murdered.

But that has not deterred Catholics from joining up and now accounting for almost 30% of the police force.

It is disappointing that very senior PSNI officers did not visit the home of the elderly couple to show that the force stands shoulder to shoulder with them and to send out a message to the wider community that the police will do their utmost to track down the terrorists whose actions endangered the lives of everyone in that locality.

The weekend attack should also reinforce the resolve of the nationalist community to give information to the PSNI which could lead to the apprehension and conviction of the bombers.

These terrorists have only minimal support in the community and their evident aim is to create mayhem and distrust.

They detest the political progress that has been made in Northern Ireland, but offer nothing but violence as an alternative. They must not succeed, not even marginally.

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