N. Ireland

HEARTS go out to the people of Northern Ireland after the Remembrance Sunday bombing in Enniskillen, in which 11 died and about 65 were injured. The bombing was surely the work of the illegal Irish Republican Army, or one of its even more radical ultra-nationalist splinter groups. This was the worst terrorist incident in the province since 1982.

It was a deplorable act. It does not advance the legitimate interests of anyone. Nor does the comment by unionist leader Ian Paisley, ``The time has now come when we must seriously consider taking the law into our own hands and resist the terrorists.''

Already, five Roman Catholic teen-agers have been shot and wounded in what police called a retaliatory attack in Belfast. But the Remembrance Sunday gathering that was the target of the bombing was in memory of Protestant and Catholic war dead; both communities share the grief in Enniskillen.

Tom King, British secretary of state for Northern Ireland, was right to counsel against anger and calls for retaliation, however understandable they may be.

We were moved by the radio report of one man who told of losing his daughter in the blast but said he would pray for those responsible. Let us hope that as the grief heals, it will be not the impulse toward retaliation, but this spirit of forgiveness, that predominates.

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