The bombing caused outrage both locally and internationally, spurred on the Northern Ireland peace process, and dealt a severe blow to the dissident Irish republican campaign. The Real IRA denied that the bomb was intended to kill civilians and apologised; shortly after, the group declared a ceasefire. The victims included people of many backgrounds and ages: Protestants, Catholics, six teenagers, six children, a woman pregnant with twins, two Spanish tourists and others on a day trip from the Republic of Ireland. Both unionists and Irish nationalists were killed and injured. As a result of the bombing, new anti-terrorism laws were swiftly enacted by both the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In 2003, a transcript of a conversation between Dixon and White was released. In it, Dixon confirms that Gardaí let the bomb go through and says that, "Omagh is going to blow up in their faces". In February 2004, PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde called for the Republic of Ireland to hand over Dixon. In March 2006, Chief Constable Orde stated that "security services did not withhold intelligence that was relevant or would have progressed the Omagh inquiry". He stated that the dissident republicans investigated by MI5 were members of a different cell than the perpetrators of the Omagh bombing.
Ernie Wilson (83) was driving the school bus in Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh when the device exploded under the vehicle on June 28 1988. The attack was an attempt by the IRA to kill Mr Wilson, who was a part-time UDR soldier.
In 1997 he continued his seventh year of education at Hogwarts, although the school was under the control of Voldemort. Seamus remained in the D.A. and fought bravely in the Battle of Hogwarts. It is currently unknown what he did after the Second Wizarding War.
During Charms class on Hallowe'en morning, Seamus was partnered with Harry to practise the Levitation Charm. While practising, Seamus managed to set fire to their feather with his wand, and Harry had to put it out with his hat. Seamus would have many such experiences throughout his school career.
On 1 September, Seamus boarded the Hogwarts Express to begin his second year at school. When Harry Potter and Ron Weasley arrived at school via Arthur Weasley's flying car, Seamus was one of the students who expressed admiration at the result. In Gilderoy Lockhart's first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson, in which he showed the class a cage of Cornish pixies, Seamus asked if they were dangerous or not. Instead of giving the class a straight answer, Lockhart showed them by letting them loose; most of the class, including Seamus, dove for cover. Seamus was among the students who bolted for the door when the bell rang and escaped the task of putting the pixies back in their cage, leaving the trio to take care of it.
A few days before the start of term, Seamus arrived in Diagon Alley to purchase his school books. With Dean Thomas, he saw Harry Potter in Quality Quidditch Supplies, where they were ogling the newly released Firebolt broomstick.
In his first Divination lesson with Sybill Trelawney, the class debated whether or not she had seen a Grim in Harry's teacup. Tilting his head from side to side, Seamus expressed his opinion that, tilted right, the tea leaves did resemble a Grim, but tilted left, it looked more like a donkey. In his first Potions lesson, Seamus told Harry and Ron that Sirius Black, an escaped Azkaban convict, had been spotted near the school. Looking excited, he informed them that a Muggle woman had spotted Black and called the special hot line set up by the Ministry of Magic.
Along with most of the school, Seamus went home for the Christmas holidays. When he returned he was impressed that Harry had received a Firebolt for Christmas. When Harry went down to breakfast the morning of his first Quidditch match with the broom, Seamus served as a "guard of honour" to protect the broom. After the Gryffindor Quidditch team defeated Ravenclaw, Seamus was very happy and cheered Harry, along with the other Gryffindors. Seamus was also awoken in the boys' dormitory when Ron announced that Sirius Black had broken into the dormitory with a knife.
On his first night back at school, Seamus got into an argument with Harry Potter about the latter's claim of Lord Voldemort's return. A devout reader of the Daily Prophet, Seamus's mother believed what the papers were saying about Harry and Albus Dumbledore, and had been very reluctant to allow Seamus to return to school. When Seamus asked Harry what really happened that night, Harry snapped at him to read the Prophet like his mother. When Ron Weasley arrived to break the argument up, Seamus thought that, for believing Harry, Ron was as insane as Harry was.
When the students returned to school after Christmas break, Dean Thomas led Seamus to attend his first meeting of Dumbledore's Army. Seamus was thrilled when he managed to conjure a full Patronus. It disappeared after only a few moments, but was "something hairy." When Dobby the house-elf arrived to warn the group about Dolores Umbridge's pending arrival, Seamus managed to escape with most of the others.
The school year was incredibly difficult for Dumbledore's Army. He, along with many others, started to show the cost of standing up to the new regime at Hogwarts: Seamus' face was so bruised that when Harry returned to the school in May of 1998, Seamus was unrecognisable until he spoke.
Seamus was among the students to witness Hagrid carry Harry's "dead" body back to the school grounds, when Neville shouted "Dumbledore's Army," Seamus was among those in the crowd that roared with cheers, provoking Voldemort.
Through his school years, Seamus generally appeared good-natured and easy-going. He was also rather clumsy, as he set fire to a feather he was supposed to be levitating in his first year. He seems to display traits of more than one Hogwarts house, since the Sorting Hat had to think for almost a minute before deciding to sort him into Gryffindor.
After Dumbledore's death the following year, Seamus insisted on remaining at Hogwarts in order to attend the funeral for the fallen headmaster, despite his mother's wish to remove him immediately from the perceived dangers at the school. This demonsted his allegiance to Dumbledore and Harry Potter.
Seamus's best friend was Dean Thomas, one of his dormmates, during their first year at Hogwarts, and the two remained best friends throughout their school years. The two were often seen together at school, and Dean attended the Quidditch World Cup with Seamus and his mother in 1994. Seamus initially believed the smear campaign the Ministry of Magic and the Daily Prophet ran against Harry Potter when he claimed that Voldemort had returned, but this does not appear to have affected his friendship with Dean, who did believe Harry and who eventually managed to get Seamus to attend the final D.A. meeting of the year.
Seamus also seemed to have been friendly with classmates and fellow D.A. members Hannah Abbott, Ernie Macmillan and Susan Bones; during the Battle of Hogwarts, he was frequently seen fighting alongside them, even though his best friend Dean Thomas had returned to Hogwarts. His friendships with Hannah, Susan and Ernie may have became closer when Dean was on the run and he had to make new friends, both Harry and Ron were also absent from school leaving Seamus with only Neville as a friend. Seamus had also met other members of the army, such as Ginny Weasley, Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet, Katie Bell, Lee Jordan, Fred and George Weasley, Colin and Dennis Creevey, Michael Corner, Anthony Goldstein, Terry Boot, Luna Lovegood, Cho Chang, Marietta Edgecombe, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and Zacharias Smith, although their relationship with Seamus is unknown.
Saint Patrick's Day is upon us once again, a time for everyone in the world to claim some sort of Irish heritage and drink themselves silly while partying. There is nothing wrong with that, we all need to blow off steam, more so than ever nowadays, but there is one part of Saint Patrick's Day celebrations here in the US that fill me with anger and disgust: The drink (and now the cupcake) named "The Irish Car Bomb."
Every night growing up, the news reports would lead with horror stories from Northern Ireland of bars being riddled with bullets or car bombs blowing up in crowded market places, killing or maiming dozens of people at a time. The IRA was our Al Qaeda.
In my school there was a kid named Robert. He was well liked, a year younger than me and an excellent rugby player. I had the pleasure of turning out with him for our local youth team several times and he was a good kid. When Robert left school, he enlisted in the Army. He was in basic training when he got the chance to go home and surprise his mum for her anniversary. Robert was standing at a railway station in England waiting for his train home when an IRA agent shot him in cold blood.
In June 2001, the last days of the school term at Holy Cross, loyalists block the entrance to the school and throw stones at those trying to enter. The feud grows and spreads. Loyalists and nationalists clash with each other and riot in the streets. People are shot, bombs explode and houses are set alight. People flee their homes for fear of an attack.
In September, the first days of a new term, loyalists again begin picketing the route that the primary school children take to school. It starts with signs and slogans, with the Loyalists claiming that Catholics are denying them access to facilities and attacking their homes, but likewise Catholics claim this same discrimination from Protestants.
Riot Police and the British Army now line the streets to protect children and their parents as they walk to school each morning. Loyalists throw stones and shout abusive sectarian slogans at the children as they walk to school. The children are hit with balloons filled with urine. Some are as young as four. 2b1af7f3a8