Shots fired at police during railway alert investigation
March 23, 2010
By Brónagh Murphy
Police investigating a bomb alert on the railway line between Meigh and Killean came under gun attack on Saturday evening.
No injuries have been reported following the attack which occurred around 9.15pm.
District Commander, Chief Superintendent Alisdair Robinson, described it as “a cowardly attempt to kill police officers”.
Security forces have been at the scene since Friday when police received a telephone call warning that a bomb had been left on the line.
During follow-up searches, a suspicious object was discovered close to the track and army bomb experts were called in.
Chief Superintendent Robinson said those responsible for the gun attack “show a total disregard for their fellow man and are not part of the society within which the majority of people of Northern Ireland wish to live,” he said.
“Officers will continue to look after the policing needs of all our people and will put in place whatever measures are necessary to take a robust stance against those who seem determined to disrupt and attack local communities.”
Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.
MP for the area, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, reacted angrily to the shooting.
Condemning those responsible, he said they were “stuck in the past and obviously want no part in the future of peace to which the majority aspire to”.
“These micro groups have disrupted the Dublin/Belfast railway line since Friday, inconveniencing business and leisure travellers alike,” he said.
“They must know that they have no support in the community for this type of activity. Additionally their unsuccessful attempts on the lives of PSNI officers, who were attempting to return the railway line to operation, is neither supported by myself or the vast majority of people in the locality.”
He called on anyone with information to contact the PSNI.
SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley added his condemnation and said: “The people responsible for this have no support for their actions locally or nationally.
“Through this attack they put the lives of Irish people at risk. Political violence is wrong; it was wrong when the Provos were engaged it in and it is still wrong. The only people who are inconvenienced by their actions are local people and the travelling public,
“If they have a political agenda then they should enter into the democratic process as others have done,” Mr Bradley added.
Translink has suspended its cross-border enterprise service since Friday.
All passengers are being bussed between Newry and Dundalk until further notice.