IRA blamed for woman's death

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THE DAUGHTER of a 78-year-old woman who collapsed and died yesterday as she was being evacuated from the vicinity of an IRA bomb blamed the terrorists for her death.

Bridie Glennon was being led away from her south Belfast home at about 5am, when she died suddenly. The bomb was later defused by British army experts.

Mrs Glennon's daughter, also Bridie, yesterday said she was leading her mother to her sister's house: 'I got round as far as Friendly Row with her and she couldn't walk any further. The next thing I knew she dropped dead.'

She added bitterly: 'All I can say is, thanks to the brave boys on both sides - the nationalist and the loyalist paramilitaries - thanks very much fellas for giving me a happy Christmas for my son and myself . . . Thanks, brave men, for murdering my mother.'

A large bomb, said by the army to contain 1,500lb of explosives, had been concealed in a hijacked van behind an advertising hoarding in the Markets area of the city. The area is Catholic and contains many republican sympathisers.

The IRA's intention had been to detonate the bomb when members of the security forces passed by. But the explosion would probably have also damaged hundreds of homes and endangered residents of the district.

Mrs Glennon, whose home was 14 houses away from the bomb, was one of hundreds of people who were evacuated from the district. A local Sinn Fein councillor, Sean McKnight, expressed 'deep regret and sadness' at her death.