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Northern Ireland bombing led real estate broker Ian Black to Sarasota

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Commercial real estate broker Ian Black in his downtown Sarasota office. Black immigrated to Sarasota in 1982 from Northern Ireland after his office was bombed.

As Ian Black sat in his office in a suburb of Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the early 1980s, he knew he was in trouble.

Black said there may have been a warning phone call, but he doesn’t remember.

But what he will never forget is an older, maroon car pulling up to his real estate office.

“A guy stops the car, gets out and runs like hell,” Black said.

In Northern Ireland it was against the law to leave a car unattended in commercial areas or locations termed Control Zones. Black anticipated an explosion, so he cleared his office.

“I get home and hear a massive explosion,” he said. “The phone rings. The police. ‘Mr. Black you need to come down.’ The office was leveled.”

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