Back in May, I wrote this post about the murders of two British Army sappers, Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and fretted that dissident Republicans were getting bolder in their attacks on the police, army, and those it considered traitors to the Feinian cause. Last month, The Christian Science Monitor wondered if IRA splinter groups could "bring back the Troubles" (answer: unlikely), a British MP who investigated the 1998 massacre in Omagh told reporters that such mass violence "could be repeated" by dissidents, and judges in Northern Ireland, says the (London) Times, "have had to make new security arrangements for themselves and their families at levels not seen since the height of the Provisional IRA campaign."
Now a surprising story out of Belfast today: Marian Price, convicted in 1973 of the Old Bailey bombing and former sister-in-law of craggy-faced Crying Game actor Stephen Rea, was arrested in connection with the Quinsey and Azimkar murders. So, one convicted Bailey bomber became a government minister, one married a famous Hollywood actor, and one kept it real:
The 55-year-old leading republican was detained by officers in West Belfast, according to republican sources….Price and her sister Dolours, the former wife of the actor Stephen Rea, were among those convicted of the 1973 bombing outside the Old Bailey in which one person was killed and almost 200 others were injured.
They became well known after going on a 200-day hunger strike. Price, an outspoken opponent of Sinn Féin's peace strategy, is a leading member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, considered to be the Real IRA's political wing. Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with the murders of Sappers Patrick Azimkar, 21, from London, and Mark Quinsey, 23, from Birmingham, at the military base.
Two men have been charged – Colin Duffy, 41, a prominent republican from Co Armagh, and Brian Shivers, 44, from Magherafelt, Co Londonderry. Gunmen opened fire on the soldiers as they collected food from a pizza delivery man outside the base in March.
Within 48 hours of the killings the Continuity IRA shot dead a police officer, Stephen Carroll, in Craigavon, Co Armagh. A 17-year-old has been charged in connection with that murder.