Lochside Garage

Border unionists living in fear of bombers’ return

LAST WEEK’S bomb attack in Newtownbutler has left many in the surrounding area worried the ‘bad old days’ could be on their way back.
Following the explosion on the main Cavan Road, Chief Constable Simon Byrne said he believed the absence of political leadership and growing social inequality was creating a atmosphere ripe for dissidents.
It’s a view shared by Roslea woman Esther Andrews, who told the Herald everyone in the area was very anxious about last week’s bomb.
Mrs Andrews lives right on the border with her husband, former UUP Cllr Harold Andrews. The family saw more than their fair share of the Troubles. Mrs Andrews recalls the murder of friends and members of the local community, bombs near their home, shoot outs in their back garden, and multiple attempts on her husband’s life.
Since the explosion last week, she said many in the community were worried.
“People are worried, because we’ve had quite the spell there when nothing was happening and we wouldn’t want to go back to what it was like 15 or 20 years ago when you would hardly go out of the house,” said Mrs Andrews. “If young ones were out you were worried sick, and you didn’t know when you went to town and parked the car if a bomb would go off.”
Mrs Andrews said she’s not worried about Brexit.
“Instead, she’s more concerned about how the lack of Stormont is leading to threats to the SWAH stroke unit, about the state of our roads, and other day-to-day issues. Overall, she fears about Brexit being “used” to bring back violence.
“I think they [dissidents] never went away, there have been wee bits and pieces that have happened now and again. I think [Brexit] is just an excuse for them,” she said, calling for greater leadership.
“I know in times gone by things happened, for want of a better term, the other side of the community that shouldn’t have happened.
“Both generations need to get over that and move on. I wouldn’t want my sons or grandchildren going through what we went through 40 years ago.”


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