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Irish Police Seize 250-Pound Bomb

February 25, 1998

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) _ Irish police seized a bomb Tuesday that they believe was to be used by a dissident anti-British gang for an attack in neighboring Northern Ireland.

The 250-pound bomb was found in a field about a mile from the border with Northern Ireland and about 90 miles southwest of Belfast.

Police made no arrests, but said they think the fully assembled bomb was the work of the Continuity IRA, a shadowy group believed to include disillusioned members of the mainstream Irish Republican Army.

The group has been blamed for car bombs that devastated two mostly Protestant towns in British-ruled Northern Ireland on Friday and Monday.

The Continuity IRA emerged in 1995 during a previous 17-month IRA truce, and is likewise opposed to the IRA’s current 7-month-old truce.

Leaders of the north’s pro-British Protestant majority, however, think the ``Continuity″ label is simply a cover name invented by IRA commanders to escape the political consequences of committing violence.

The IRA stopped bombing and shooting in July 1997 to permit its allied Sinn Fein party to enter Northern Ireland’s peace negotiations, which continue Wednesday in Belfast. The British and Irish governments have temporarily ejected Sinn Fein from the talks after ruling that the IRA killed two men in Belfast earlier this month.

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