6 March 1997 Edition
Not a word from Leinster House
The silence from all the usual sources of condemnation has been deafening in the wake of the attempted bombing of the Sinn Féin office in Monaghan. Only the detonator of the bomb exploded but it contained enough explosive to wreck a large part of the town.
The device in a holdall was found on Monday morning, 3 March at the back of the Sinn Féin office in Dublin Street. It contained 25 sticks of commerical explosive. Despite the seriousness of the abortive attack there was no comment from Leinster House politicians.
Loyalist sources told a Dublin newspaper that the bomb was directed at Sinn Féin Councillor Caoimhghin O Caoláin. Councillor O Caoláin is strongly tipped to take a seat in the Cavan-Monaghan constituency in the forthcoming general election. Commenting on the attempted bombing Councillor O Caoláin said:
``The attempted bombing and the muted political reaction to it highlights once again the double standards of those most vociferous about political violence and the threat of violence. Where is the usual outpouring from all the predictible sources? The silence of Leinster House politicians in particular is worth noting. There is no clamour from any of them to condemn this attack.
``As the continually stalled talks in Belfast are once again adjourned it is clear that the threat and the use of violence from the unionist and loyalist participants will not affect their participation in these talks, while Sinn Féin with its significant mandate remains excluded.
``The Taoiseach John Bruton has recently talked of coercion but again only in relation to republicans. This bomb was clearly aimed at coercing and intimidating Sinn Féin in Monaghan but it won't succeed. It is time for the double standards to end and for Sinn Féin to be fully included in the talks process. It is only through an all-inclusive dialogue that we can with confidence face the future together in peace on these islands.''