Pipe bomb abandoned in Newry sparks anger

May 18, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

A pipe bomb which was abandoned on a Newry street last Monday has led to calls for a review of police resources in the area from some politicians.

UUP MLA, Danny Kennedy, says the incident demonstrates the need to reassess the management of police resources.

A number of homes in the Drumgullion Avenue area of the city had to be evacuated after the device was discovered on Monday afternoon.

An army bomb disposal team was called to the scene and the alert continued until after 9.00pm.  The device, which was described as ‘viable’, was taken away for further examination.

This is the second recent incident involving a pipe bomb in Newry.  On May 3rd a pipe bomb exploded outside a house in the Dromalane area of the city.  No one was injured in the incident.

This latest incident has sparked public anger, says SDLP MLA, Dominic Bradley.

“First and foremost, the wider public I have talked to about this incident are relieved there were no causalities after this incident. After that, there is a feeling of anger that people think it is right to leave these devices in public places,” he said.

“The people of Newry and the constituency as a whole are sick and tired of this type of activity. There is simply no place for it.

“I urge anybody with information about this incident to pass it to the police without delay,” he added.

Meanwhile, Danny Kennedy insists the relocation of police officers in south Armagh is not a solution to the dissident problem.

“Given recent events, it is clear that moving officers from Bessbrook to Newtownhamilton is far from a solution to the dissident problem,” he said.

“These constant attacks are a scourge on our community, and I would appeal to those with information on the perpetrators to come forward before we are forced to deal with a legacy of injury and death.”

Speaking after the PSNI confirmed that they have no plans to alter their estates strategy in Newry and Armagh, despite concerns over dissident activity, the UUP deputy leader said that “an urgent re-assessment of the situation is essential”.

“I have argued consistently that local stations should be retained, and it is clear – even at this late stage – that a review must be carried out,” he insists.

“Developing the Newtownhamilton site as a patrol base for the south Armagh area does not constitute an additional security measure, such as might be expected in the current climate.

“That being said, it is important that I place on record my appreciation of the hard work of the many officers and support staff who continue to provide an invaluable service under increasingly difficult circumstances.”