‘Brexit Day’ bomb investigation ongoing

It’s a fine line reporting on the activities of dissident republicans, informing the public about what they should know without giving those trying to wreck peace what they crave - publicity.

Yes, their numbers are small, and yes, they don’t have the capability they would have had in previous years.

That said, as the well-worn cliché goes, they only need to get lucky once.

Many had thought the murder of journalist Lyra McKee may have changed mind-sets.

But no. The reality is these people don’t think like you or I, and it’s an unshakeable dogma that keeps them going.

All the groups have stepped up their activities in recent months - anyone wearing a uniform of the Crown a target, and that can and has included the intimidation of family members.

Those targeted have been fortunate. Take the police officer who drove his car to his local golf club in east Belfast last June.

He was unaware there was a bomb underneath his vehicle. To the relief of everyone, it didn’t go off.

And sources say that was because there was a mistake made by whoever made the device.

And that takes me on to the “Brexit” bomb. A different organisation, the Continuity IRA, behind this one.

As soon as police released a picture of the device, which was found by a worker in an industrial estate in Lurgan, I received a call from someone, let’s say who knows about these things.

“That’s more like the job,” I was told. “It’s pretty sophisticated for the Continuity IRA.”

An electrical timer was used which sources say may have had a long delay.

So was that to ensure the lorry it was attached to was well on its way to its destination?

Of course, we know it didn’t leave the yard in Lurgan. Plus, given the search went on for a number of days, why didn’t it go off?

No doubt all of this will form part of the investigation.

This foiled bomb plot was widely covered here and for part of the day in the rest of the UK.

But by the evening news, it barely featured on the national agenda.

Now, I’m willing to be corrected on this, but it would have been a different story had that plot been foiled in England.

The 'Brexit Day' bomb is believed to have been destined for a ferry from NI to Scotland. Credit: PA

So, finally to my point.

Have we all become a bit immune to a small group of people determined to drag us back?

Have we accepted there will always be a certain level of violence here, and sadly, the occasional loss of life? Our thinking: “Well, at least it’s not as bad as the old days…”?

Let’s hope not. Just because we had it so bad for so long is no reason not to hope and strive for a complete and lasting peace.