Armagh Prelates Say Bomb Won't Rekindle Conflict

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ARMAGH, Ireland, APRIL 23, 2010 ( In a joint statement today, a leader from the Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland in Armagh decried a car bomb explosion Thursday in Newtownhamilton, but assured it will not stop Northern Ireland’s peace process.

Church of Ireland Archbishop Alan Harper and Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Clifford said the attack was a “futile attempt to drag us back to a conflict that people on both sides of the border have intentionally and definitively left behind for ever.”

The bomb was left outside a police station in the small community that is just on the border of the conflicting Irish regions. Two people sustained non-life threatening injuries from the explosion.

Dissidents seem intent on increasing violence in the lead-up to the May 6 British elections.

But the church leaders affirmed, “Small, secretive coteries of dissidents will not deflect us from continuing the journey towards a peaceful and reconciled society.”

The prelates did, however, acknowledge the “distress for the local community caused by the fear, disruption and injury which is the outcome of these actions.”

They called upon politicians and candidates to “reaffirm a cross-community commitment to the primacy of the ballot box as the only legitimate way of determining the future for all citizens.”

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