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When The War Is Closer To Home

Antrim shooting terrorism Massereene barracks

With the world’s view of terrorism being directed in other places the last few years, we may’ve forgotten the terrorism that’s closer to home.  On Saturday two young soldiers in Northern Ireland had just had word that their flight to Afghanistan had been delayed, they decide to treat themselves to a pizza delivery. That action cost their lives, as they were gunned down outside their barracks when they went to collect it.

The Real IRA claimed responsibility for the shooting. These are the same people who killed 29 people in the Omagh bombing in 1998, which killed 29 people — including a pregnant woman.

The soldiers had spent months training for a different kind of terrorist attack. But it was the one on their doorstep that was eventually to end their lives.  It was the first killing of British troops in Northern Ireland for 12 years.

There were warnings this was about to happen, last month security forces defused a 300lb car bomb in County Down.

I don’t remember all that much about the original IRA growing up. I do remember bombs going off in London, they’ve previously targetting the BBC’s main headquarters and Britain’s foreign espionage agency (MI6). I also remember refuse bins being removed from every train station in London so bombs couldn’t be hidden in them.

With events in Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s a whole generation who will never have known about these homegrown terrorists. Now they’re being taught a history lesson. And the people in Northern Ireland are praying they don’t have to return to the fear and destruction they suffered so long ago.

And so are we.

—Miss London

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To get your view from across the pond, Miss London Party will be your guide. Every week, she’ll be casting her eye over the big stories happening with the Brits. From fashion to entertainment to current affairs to politics, she’s got you covered. A Londoner born and bred, she’s worked as a journalist for two of the UK’s biggest broadcasters, and is currently presenting daily TV news — so she’ll be giving you an inside view on events. In her free time, she likes sitting in the pub on a Sunday afternoon, going through the newspapers, drinking a glass (actually a bottle) of wine, and tucking into a good ol’ English roast. Cliched, but true! She plays netball, swims and is ever so slightly addicted to trashy US shows on her cable TV.

Last 5 posts by Miss London

  • Wondering

    Why are there British troops in Northern Ireland?