Tip-off leads to discovery of mortar bomb cache

March 11, 2019

 The discovery of a quantity of mortar bombs in an area of forest near Forkhill on Wednesday is being linked to recent dissident republican activity, police have said.

Describing the find at the Carewamean Road as “a significant terrorist hide” in which component parts for mortars and six mortar tubes were uncovered, Detective Inspector Graham Orr from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit said the items will undergo forensic examination but “initial observations suggest that this is a more recent hide linked to dissident republican activity”.

He said police “were made aware of suspicious items” and conducted a search that yielded the weapons.

He said: “Police were made aware of suspicious items and following a search…we discovered the items buried in the ground in a wooded area in a constructed hide. Our enquiries are progressing and a detailed forensic examination of all these items will take some time. At this stage, it is too early to attribute ownership of these materials to any particular grouping or individual.”

Det Inp Orr says he believes machinery would have been used to transport and conceal the items and he has appealed to anyone in the area who may have witnessed suspicious activity or vehicles to contact police.

“It is vital that people remain vigilant, wherever they are and whatever they are doing. We will continue to work with our communities to disrupt the activities of the small group of people who are intent on using violence. There is no place for this type of activity and the vast majority of people in our communities want to live in a peaceful society,” he said.

“Due to the location of the find and the items located in it, I believe vehicles or machinery may have been used to transport the items and access the site. The investigation is in the early stages and we are still working to establish the timeframe but initial observations suggest that this is a more recent hide linked to dissident republican activity. 

“I would appeal to anyone who has noticed any suspicious activity or vehicles in the Carewamean Road area to contact detectives on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 846.  This may have been something you saw recently or it could have been a few years ago – please let us know either way and we can consider the information.”

Information can also be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.