To anyone who has studied international acts of terror, events in Boston over the past few days will have made interesting viewing and reading. And for many of the city's more senior citizens, the twin bomb blasts, fatalities and horrific injuries will have provided much food for thought.
Over a thirty-year period, Boston was a prime fund-raising area for the Irish Republican Army. Organizations like Noraid and Clan na Gael collected millions of dollars from the city's large Irish community. While it's accepted that funds reached needy families in Northern Ireland (read: families of imprisoned IRA men), it's also accepted that money collected in the US helped pay for weapons and explosives and led directly to the deaths of many innocent people.
IRA apologists will argue that telephone warnings were given before bombs went off. Not always. Did PM Margaret Thatcher get a call before the explosion which partly demolished the Brighton hotel where she was sleeping? Some warnings were unclear - like with the Omagh bomb that killed twenty-five people. They will argue that the IRA never packed bombs with nails and metal fragments. No, they had a better idea. At the La Mon hotel they attached cans of petrol mixed with sugar to the bomb, creating a napalm-like fireball which incinerating its victims beyond recognition.
The signs are that terrorism in Ireland is on the rise once more. We can only hope that, after Boston, Americans will keep their hands tightly in their pockets when the collection boxes are passed around.