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Keady bomb defused

June 29, 2010


By Brónagh Murphy

A roadside bomb in Keady was  declared safe on Thursday following a security alert in the area that lasted three days.

Six families were forced to move out of their homes while the army dealt with the device just off the main Keady to Castleblayney Road.

The160lb bomb, hidden in a beer keg, was discovered by a farmer on Tuesday after the place in which it was hidden appeared to have been disturbed by sheep.

Police believe it was planted on Saturday night and a fire started deliberately nearby was an attempt to lure officers into the area.  The fire was put out by firefighters and police did not attend the scene.

A telephone call warning of a bomb having been left in the area was made to a Keady business on Monday but the caller did not specify its location.

The security operation did not begin until the discovery of the device the following morning when police cordoned off a five-mile stretch of the main Keady to Castleblayney Road.

Disruption

Mayor of Armagh, the SDLP’s Thomas O’Hanlon condemned those responsible for abandoning the device.

“This is a complete and utter disgrace.  This has resulted in major distress among residents – thirty of whom have had to evacuate their homes – and has caused serious inconvenience to local traders that have also had to flee their premises.

“The Castleblaney Road is a key cross-border route and its closure is bad for business and bad for the people of Keady who suffered enough down through the years due to pointless violence and destruction by the Provisional IRA,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin’s Cathal Boylan says the local community is extremely angry at the disruption caused by the bomb.

“For three days the local community has been seriously inconvenienced.  Families out of their homes, the general public having to take long detours and business affected.

“The residents of this area are fed up with the fall out from incidents like this. People have moved on and wish to leave things like this where they belong – in the past,’ Mr Boylan added.

His party colleague, Councillor Darren McNally says the fact that the device lay undetected for a number of days gives cause for concern.

“The last thing we want is for a member of the community to be harmed by one of these devices,” he said.


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