Burnt-out car linked to Newry bomb disappears 

March 2, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

A vehicle that was abandoned and set on fire in Dromintee, and which may be linked to Monday’s car bomb at Newry courthouse, has disappeared.

Despite the PSNI confirming that it is ‘working to establish a link’ between the burnt out car and the bomb attack, it has no knowledge of the vehicle’s whereabouts.

Less than fifteen minutes after the bomb detonated at 10.37pm, a vehicle was reported to be on fire close to Forest Park in Dromintee.   Fire crews were called to the scene and extinguished the blaze.  Police confirmed the incident was reported before 11.00pm.

However, when officers moved to examine the vehicle on Wednesday, two days after the bomb, it was gone.

The charred remains of the vehicle lay by the roadside until Tuesday evening before it disappeared.  Locals believe a tractor may have been used to move it.  Its current location is unknown.

Police justified the delay in responding to the abandoned vehicle by saying there were concerns that the car might have been a ‘lure’ to attack responding officers.

In response to inquiries from The Examiner, police issued the following statement:

“During Tuesday, officers made inquiries to establish if the vehicle was linked to the bomb attack at Newry courthouse. However, due to concerns that the vehicle may have been a lure to attack police, officers were unable to respond as fully or as quickly as they would have wished. On Wednesday morning police learned that the vehicle had been removed.

“The PSNI is committed to investigating the courthouse bomb attack but it has an over-riding responsibility to protect and preserve life. This applies as much to police officers and staff as to everyone else in the community,” the statement continued. “Enquiries into the movements of the vehicle are continuing. If anyone knows the whereabouts of the vehicle or has knowledge of its disposal, they should contact police on 0845 600 8000.”