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Irish Catholic Church condemns IRA bombers

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Ireland's Roman Catholic church leaders Sunday condemned a bombing Friday that killed seven workmen, accusing the Irish Republican Army perpetrators of disgracing their cause.

The Roman Catholic Primate for all Ireland, Cardinal Cahill Daly Sunday visited the site of the bomb attack and expressed sadness and outrage.

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'If only the people who so coldly and callously detonated the bomb could see what they have done to fellow human beings and natives of this land of ours,' said Cardinal Daly, whose seat in Armagh, Ulster.

'They have disgraced themselves and the very cause they claim to have represented,' he said.

The denunciation came as the British Army in Northern Ireland began deploying some 500 reinforcements to counteract some of the worst violence seen in the Ulster Province of Northern Ireland, which is administered by Britain.

The IRA aims to oust Britain from Ulster, which has a Protestant majority and has remained part of the United Kingdom since Ireland gained its independence from Britain in 1922.

The latest bomb victims were returning home Friday in a Ford Transit van from work at an army security base in Omagh, 65 miles west of Belfast, when the huge bomb exploded on the roadside 10 miles west of Cookstown in County Tyrone.

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The IRA claimed responsibility for the attack, boasting it contained 1,500 pounds of explosives.

In the Republic of Ireland, Joseph Cassidy, the Archibishop of Tuam, in County Gallway, Sunday launched a pulpit attack on Friday's killings, warning of excommunication for those carrying out atrocities.

'It was an unspeakable atrocity. It was a murderous and unjustifiable assault. The time to excommunicate those involved in such killings is very close,' said Archbishop Cassidy preaching at a mass in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo.

'What they are doing is completely unchristain. There can be no justification for a horrible campaign like this. It is doubtful if it would have much effect, for they have already excommunicated themselves in mind, in heart, in spirit and activity,' said the archbishop.

Despite the condemnation, the IRA continued to target businesses in the province, destroying one store in Belfast and five stores in Portadown 30 miles west of Belfast with firebombs early Sunday, police said.

Police said an IRA bomber threw a an explosive device at an army patrol in Belfast Sunday, causing no injury.

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