‘Mystery’ aircraft spotted over Newry was RAF training flight

April 13, 2015

An aircraft, which was observed flying low over the Newry area on Tuesday last, was an RAF military plane on a training exercise, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed.

The unusual sight was witnessed in the sky over Newry and Warrenpoint and other areas across Northern Ireland, with one witness describing its “dipping and twisting” flying pattern as “really frightening”.

And the PSNI in Newry and Mourne even posted this photo (below) on its Facebook page appealing for information on the ‘mystery’ plane.

The riddle was soon solved, however, when the MoD revealed the aircraft was a C130-J Hercules military plane on an RAF training flight.

Confirming this, the Newry and Mourne PSNI team said the aircraft was conducting low-level navigation, and added: “No need to go to any of the air shows now!”

Not everyone was impressed with the air show, however, with éirigí in Newry condemning it as “another example of the British military using this part of Ireland as a training ground to hone their skills for use in their imperialist exploits”.

The group’s spokesperson, Stephen Murney, said: “We also currently have the Special Reconnaissance Regiment [SRR] operating in the six counties, a regiment who would be regularly trained in deployment from low-level aircraft – exactly the type of manoeuvres which took place over county Down.  The fact that this sinister regiment has close links to the SAS should not be lost upon the Irish people.

“In recent years there have been clear attempts to ‘normalise’ the ongoing British military presence in the North.  In 2007 when the British Army’s so-called “Operation Banner” ended some people wrongly claimed that this was the beginning of the end of British soldiers operating in Ireland. They were clearly wrong.  There’s nothing ‘normal’ about British troops, MI5 agents or British warplanes operating on Irish soil or in our skies, regardless of whether they are doing it to target Irish citizens or training to target populations in other countries.”