Army return ruled out in fight against Real IRA

The Government today ruled out bringing the Army to the streets of Northern Ireland in the fight against dissident republicans.

Senior unionists suggested the soldiers should be deployed or that more resources should be given to the PSNI after the Real IRA planted a massive bomb in Forkhill, south Armagh.



Former DUP Junior Minister Jeffrey Donaldson said: “We either have additional police resources or we have the Army back.



“This dissident threat is growing all the time,” he added.



And Ulster Unionist Danny Kennedy said he would also back a call for a return of troops.



However a spokesman for the Northern Ireland Office today told the Telegraph: “Operation Banner in which the Army provided routine support for police ended in 2007 and won’t be reactivated.”



Police said the bomb, containing 600lb of home-made explosives, had the potential to cause “terrible carnage” had it exploded on the country road on the Armagh/Monaghan border. The device which was 100lb bigger than the Omagh bomb was left just 50 feet from a nearby home – forcing 20 residents\[Chris Cairns\] — including a 10-day-old baby — to flee their homes during the four-day operation to defuse the huge bomb.



A faction of the Real IRA, calling itself Oglaigh na hEireann (OHN), claimed responsibility for planting the massive device in a telephone call to a newspaper.



Anti-terrorist officers said the bomb, which was planted in concealed drums on the northern side of the Louth-Armagh border with the detonation unit hidden in the Republic, was intended to blow up a PSNI patrol.



The home-made bomb was defused by Army officers at Carrive Road outside Forkhill yesterday. A bomb disposal team from the Republic was also involved.



It is believed the bombers belong to a 12-man gang aligned to leading dissident republican Liam Campbell based in the Carlingford area of Co Louth.



In June Campbell was among four men named as being responsible for the 1998 Omagh explosion.



Yesterday PSNI commander for Newry and Mourne, Chief Inspector Sam Cordner, said the explosion “would have demolished local housing with fatal consequence”.



Mr Cordner said: “Their actions were reckless and dangerous in the extreme. Their target may have been the police, but they did not care who they killed or injured.”

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Direct Sales Consultants - OTE £65,000 - £100,000

£65000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national direct sales com...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Consultant - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Can you sell? Want to earn over...

Recruitment Genius: Partitioners / Carpenter / Multi Skilled Tradesmen / Decorator

£28000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Various opportunities are avail...

Recruitment Genius: Trade Marketing Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company leads the market i...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum