Northern Ireland Days of Fear and Hope

Ulster has little choice but to watch and wait

In the police headquarters at Newry, County Down, Superintendent Gerry French of the Royal Ulster Constabulary frets over the calm. Nothing unusual is going on outside in the bustling, mainly Catholic town. Pedestrians stroll. Shoppers head for McEvoy's Fashion Store close by. But even the commonplace may impart fear in Ulster, and French knows that appearances are deceptive. In February 1986, mortar shells launched by the Irish Republican Army thundered down on the police station, killing nine officers as they ate their evening meal. Since rebuilt, Newry station is now a fortress, protected by thick concrete walls and a 30-ft.-high reinforced-steel...

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