Explosion of ‘viable device’ sparks security alert

May 11, 2015

A device, which had partially exploded, sparked a security alert close to Cloughoge near Newry on Thursday.

The suspicious object was discovered on the Barracric Road, located between the Flagstaff Road and the A1 dual carriageway.

Army technical officers were called in to examine the scene and later confirmed that a “viable explosive device” had detonated in the area.  Parts of what is believed to be remnants of the device were removed for further examination.

The investigation forced the temporary closure of the road and the nearby railway line, disrupting cross-border services.  There were no reports of any injuries and no damage was caused as a result of the explosion, police said.

Sinn Fein’s Mickey Brady expressed his anger: “The people carrying out these attacks are doing so against the expressed wishes of the Irish people and to wreck the advances of the peace and political process. It not only was an attack on the political process but also potentially endangered people living in the area.

Detectives investigating have appealed for information.  Inspector Lorraine Dobson thanked the public for their cooperation and said police are keen to hear from anyone who noticed any activity on the Barracric Road in the early part of last week, or who has any information, to contact detectives in Ardmore police station in Newry.

It was later revealed that an army response vehicle broke down on its way to the alert.  The Ministry of Defence confirmed one of its vehicles had broken down at Sprucefield, near Lisburn but insisted there was no delay to its response.