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1992 - Mr Major’s Statement on Terrorist Bomb

Below is the text of Mr Major’s statement, made on Friday 10th January 1992, following a terrorist bomb.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

QUESTION:

What is your reaction to this terrorist attack?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I am grateful firstly that no-one has been injured and the Police have been able to deal with the matter so speedily and so effectively. But I think the terrorists really should have learned now that neither in Belfast nor in London nor in anywhere else in the United Kingdom will they be able to bomb people out of their normal activities, their homes, their schools or anything else. If they want to reinforce our determination to make sure we defeat them this is the way to do it. It's utterly counterproductive.

QUESTION:

Of course this happens everyday in Northern Ireland but they're hoping for maximum impact by doing it almost in the heart of Government aren't they?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well it is not the first time in the last year that they have tried that of course in London. But it is perfectly true the real thrust of their campaign has been against the people in Belfast who have stood it with very great courage for many years. The people of Belfast haven't wavered, haven't weakened, haven't changed their determinations and neither will we.

QUESTION:

Do you think it is designed to damage the prospects of Peter Brooke's talks?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think it is impossible to say. We are dealing with people who have many motives and many splinter groups. It is impossible to say precisely what their motives are. The only thing we can be certain about is that whatever the motives are they are not honourable motives and they will not succeed.

QUESTION:

It does reinforce the need for those talks to get underway though doesn't it?

PRIME MINISTER:

We are very keen for the talks to proceed. It has been a remarkable piece of work the way Peter Brooke has brought so many different people and so many different ideas around the table to talk. That's the way to make progress. It is to talk. Not to place bombs that may or may not injure any innocent that frequently have in the past. That is not the way to behave, talking is the way to behave, talking is the way to behave and I think Peter Brooke has done magnificently so far, and we are keen to see that talks commence again.

QUESTION:

Will security be stepped up as a result?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am not going to talk about security now.

QUESTION:

Why weren't you in Downing Street at the time?

PRIME MINISTER:

That's because I had a meeting here that was arranged sometime ago.