Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: We've moved on from a world of hatred

It is not difficult to understand the fury of the PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott when he roundly condemns the Republican dissidents who planted a bomb in north Belfast this week to lure police officers into a deadly ambush.

Some days later another bomb was discovered nearby, at the back of a scout hall.

The police and army deserve much praise in dealing with such a potentially deadly situation in which the public as well as members of the security forces were placed in great risk.

The dissident group Oglaigh na hEireann has claimed that its members were about to detonate one of the bombs in an attempt to kill or maim police officers, but that they held back because a civilian appeared on the scene.

This may be a cynical ploy to gain some credit with the general public but no-one in their right mind will give any credence to such a murderous group which, in the words of the Chief Constable, is living "in a world of hatred".

No-one will argue either with Matt Baggott's statement that the people who planted the devices have "the same recklessness mindset as those who brought about the Omagh tragedy", which brought such suffering to so many innocent people.

What happened in Omagh was rightly condemned worldwide and proved to be a massive, and virtually irreversible, setback for armed republicanism. The same applies to the north Belfast bombs.

Unfortunately, members of dissident groups still stubbornly fail to grasp the point that time has moved on, and that the future in Northern Ireland lies with politics and no longer with the bomb or the bullet.

Clearly it is utterly imperative that these people are hunted down strenuously and punished with the full rigour of the law, and it is incumbent on everyone with information about any group of dissidents to pass it on to the police.

There is absolutely no place for these renegades in today's society, and the sooner they are caught and put away the better.

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