Catholic residents angry at IRA faction

Anger was directed at Irish Republican Army splinter groups after bombs were found in an apartment in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

A 30 year old man was arrested by police in connection with the discovery.

Several families were evacuated overnight until the all-clear was given.  Residents denounced those responsible for storing bombs in a densely populated civilian area.

“Whoever left it there, would they have left it beside their own children?” said Paddy McDaid, who feared that his 9-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter could have been wounded or killed by any premature explosion. The bombs were found four doors away from his own, with the building’s main gas pipe running in between.

Gerry Murray, a 78-year-old disabled retiree who was evacuated with his wife, said the various IRA splinter gangs deserved no support from the Irish nationalist majority in the city.

“I’m angry and I think a lot of other people will be angry too,” he said.

The city’s police commander, Chief Inspector Garry Eaton, said their choice of location to store bombs demonstrated “a callous and outrageous disregard for the safety of the community. We’re lucky this morning that we’re not dealing with serious injuries or deaths.”

Sinn Fein, the political party that grew out of the Provisional IRA and today represents most of Northern Ireland’s Irish nationalists in a coalition government with the British Protestant majority, denounced the Londonderry bombers as unhinged from reality.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous that in this day and age people have to put up with the stress and upset this has caused,” said Mickey Cooper, a Londonderry city councilman for Sinn Fein, after he visited the evacuees at the gym. “There is no justification for these activities in the political climate in which we now live.”

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