Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has blasted the people behind the massive bomb find in Northern Ireland this week.

"We have made it very, very clear that those days are gone,” he said. “It’s quite clear that the local people do not support what is happening.

"Some people were very, very frightened and outraged and I endorse what [Minister for Regional Development in the Executive] Conor Murphy has said: Let those who support these groups, or group, explain their rationale and let them come and talk to whoever they want and we include ourselves in this.

“We want to see all of these actions ended and we want to see the peace process built upon as opposed to being pulled back, the way these people are trying to pull it back.”

Adams was reacting to the huge bomb find in Forkhill in South Armagh on the border with County Louth.

The 600lb bomb was made safe by British Army experts who also discovered a command wire which went into County Louth.

The bomb was discovered after "dissident republicans" phoned an Irish newspaper to say they had planted a bomb.

Security experts say that the device would have caused a bigger explosion than theOmagh bombing.

Meanwhile, the British Government is resisting Unionist calls to bring back the British Army into South Armagh.

Democratic Ulster Party MP Jeffrey Donaldson and Ulster Unionist Party deputy leader Danny Kennedy have called for the British army to tackle the dissidents.

In the meantime, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Irish gardai are continuing their investigations into the planting of the bomb.

The bomb, which was heavily camoflauged in three barrels, was placed near the road in Forkill and was primed to go off at any time.

Police say the bomb was intended to hit PSNI patrols and that it would have blown up nearby houses as well.

So far, no group has admitted responsibility but sources say that “Óglaigh na hÉireann,” one of two factions of the Real IRA, was probably behind the planned ambush.