In evaluating whether to believe the IRA or the British Army as to who triggered the bomb at Enniskillen on Nov. 8, it is important to keep several things in mind. One is that the IRA is well aware that, as in this case, the British government will rush to exploit personal tragedy for political benefit. Aside from moral concerns, it is on that pragmatic basis that the IRA has a policy of avoiding civilian casualties.
Yet, knowing this record, the Royal Ulster Constabulary chief could say that he was certain the IRA had intended to kill civilians. This is not a surprising statement. However, British journalist Liz Curtis in "Ireland: The Propaganda War" showed that lying about Northern Ireland is a government tradition. The IRA always sticks with the facts even when self-damaging, to be credible.
The triggering by a British Army high-frequency scanning device was probably an accident but there is reason to believe not. Former members of British "dirty tricks" squads have told about many killings blamed on the IRA in an effort to blacken its image. Neutral parties have given evidence that British authorities withheld bomb warnings so that the public would become outraged against the IRA at the result.