Terror has become a way of life in Northern Ireland. No one is safe. Very?
Terror has become a way of life in Northern Ireland. No one is safe. Very often, the victims are merely passers-by at the time of a bombing.
But politicians in Northern Ireland have special problem; they're cargets. And as George Montgomery reports, they have to take extreme measures to stay alive.
Politicians try to vary their routes to and from their offices to avoid ambushes. One Protestant politician was shot in the head five times in and ambush... and lived.
Like Currie, most politicians dismiss the danger as an occupational hazard. They are the tough representatives of a tough country......
Northern Irish politicians are frequently accused of many things: bigotry, corruption, demagoguery. But one thing they're rarely accused of is physical cowardice...GM. NBC News...Belfast....Northern Ireland.
NORTHERN IRISH POLITICIAN(GO)....1
Austin Currie is a politician, but not an ordinary one. He's a Northern Irish politician, and because of all the terrorism, he can be removed from office by bullets as well as ballots.
Currie's house in the countryside has been bombed once end shot at 15 times in the last four years, with narrow escape for himself, his wife, and their three children. So, Northern Ireland's Catholic Housing Minister has had the place transformed into what he wryly calls "Fort Currie."
Two armed policeman guard it. The house round the clock. The thick security wall shields the rean of the house four bombs and bullets.
There are floodlights, and a pillbox and bulletproof glass.
Thirty-six shots were fired at the house in the worst attack late last year. The meet recent was two weeks ago.
Currie can't use his garage because it's now a makeshift bunker for the policemen.
Both Protestant and IRA terrorists have shot at Currie. Police also guard, the house of other top politicians, many of whom have been either threatened or attacked. Luckily, only two been slain in the last two years.
Mrs. Currie has been beaten brutally by Protestant thugs.
(Open SOF intvu with Austin and Anita Currie)
When Currie goes to his office...or elsewhere... he is accompanies by three armed bodyguards from the police force. Many other politicians get similar protection.