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BBC

A search for a suspected UVF bomb at the lord mayor of Dublin’s official residence has ended.


The Mansion House has been declared safe

The Mansion House, which was evacuated on Wednesday evening, has now been declared safe. Nothing was found.

The alert followed claims the loyalist group left a bomb there 25 years ago during a Sinn Fein annual conference.

The search involved police dogs and army specialist units. It is understood Lord Mayor Vincent Jackson and his wife have returned home.

The Defence Forces bomb disposal unit has now left the scene. Their search had been concentrating on the roof area.

A suspect device found earlier did not contain explosives.

Surrounding streets were not cordoned off during the search.


A bomb disposal unit has left the scene

Gardai would not officially confirm whether the searches were linked to a claim by the Ulster Volunteer Force that in 1981 they planted a device there during the Sinn Fein ard fheis which failed to explode.

That Sinn Fein ard fheis is best remembered for the phrase about the armalite and the ballot box.

Former Sinn Fein publicity director Danny Morrison, who coined the phrase, said: “We were debating the future of the republican struggle at that time, in terms of adopting an electoral strategy and the crucial debate took place on the Sunday.

“Had that debate been thwarted or had key personnel been killed or injured – Lord knows what the future would have held.

“But I have to say this. We were not allowed to secure that building, we were not allowed to secure the roof so there are questions that have to be asked.”

BBC

The Ulster Volunteer Force is considering re-engaging with the de Chastelain arms commission, the BBC has learned.

The move is being discussed as part of the UVF’s internal consultation over its future.

In January 2003, the paramilitary group suspended all contacts with the decommissioning body.

It is understood it is now considering appointing a representative to speak to the commission.

Billy Hutchinson of the Progressive Unionist Party, a former UVF prisoner, formerly fulfilled this role.

When it suspended its talks with the arms commission in 2003, the PUP said the UVF decision was “confirmation of the degree of dismay within the unionist community”.

If it does re-engage with the commission it is unlikely to lead to immediate decommissioning but will begin a process.

The UVF has been under pressure recently to begin decommissioning and end all activities.

Among those calling for the moves have been the Ulster Unionist Party, which has entered into an alliance with the PUP in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning Commission was established in 1997 under chairman General John de Chastelain, of the Canadian army.

In September 2005, General de Chastelain said the IRA had put all of its weapons beyond use.

Bobby Sands mural photo
Ní neart go cur le chéile

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