Republican News · Thursday 20 January 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Letter bomb at home of SF Councillor

RUC tail Assembly member in Monaghan

A letter bomb was discovered at the home of Monaghan Sinn Féin Councillor Owen Smyth on Tuesday, 18 January. The package was found to contain an explosive substance and was later defused by a military mob disposal squad.

The Smyth family became aware of the device late on Tuesday night and the Gardaí were notified and made arrangments for its removal. Councillor Smyth is Chairperson of Monaghan Urban District Council and last week publicised the sinister and illegal presence of RUC members outside a Sinn Féin meeting in Monaghan town. A car containing men in RUC uniforms followed Francie Molloy after the Sinn Féin meeting late on the evening of 12 January. The car was later seen driving into Middletown RUC barracks, County Armagh.

Commenting on the letter bomb, Sinn Féin TD Caomhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``I am extremely concerned at this development which is the second letter bomb attack in this town within a week. Owen Smyth is a long-standing member of the party and he, his wife and family, were put in severe risk by this bomb, which remained unopened in their home throughout the day.

``It is too early to speculate on the origins of this potentially lethal device, but I would call on people throughout the area to be vigilant.''

On the RUC incursion in Monaghan last week Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``This is a most serious incident. My colleagues have already raised it with the Irish government and I will be raising it in the Dáil on the resumption. We need an explanation from the Minister for Foreign Affairs David Andrews and the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform John O'Donoghue as to what knowledge, if any, the Irish authorities have of this. Such cross-border incursions by the RUC or the British Army must not be tolerated.''

Contents Page for this Issue
Reply to: Republican News