Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Widespread shock at the discovery of handgun in alleyway bin

The community of Barcroft and Ballybot has been rocked by the deadly discovery of a handgun in an alleyway bin in the area last week. There has been widespread condemnation of those responsible for dumping the firearm, after it was discovered in a bin in the alleyway of John Martin Street in the city at around 6.30pm on Tuesday evening. The gun continues to be examined by forensics and police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

Commenting after the disturbing find was made, Detective Sergeant James Johnston said those responsible were “reckless in the extreme to leave such an item in a residential area which is frequented by all members of the public, including children.”

Newry SDLP councillor Michael Savage said those who dumped the firearm have “no regard for the safety of children in the area.”

Describing the dangerous find as “deeply worrying”, Councillor Savage highlighted that it was the latest in a number of worrying incidents in the Ballybot/Barcroft area in recent weeks.  Just last month four people narrowly escaped injury after a volley of shots was fired at a property in the Barcroft area. 

Commenting on the handgun find, Mr Savage added,

“Those responsible for this reckless act don’t care about the children and the people of Barcroft or Ballybot. This weapon was found in a residential area which is frequented by all members of the public, including children. In recent weeks I chatted with young teenagers who meet up in this area and I am just grateful that they or children in the area didn’t find this deadly weapon.”

The SDLP councillor said he intended to meet with local PSNI Chiefs in the coming days to get a full briefing into the discovery and other recent incidents in the area.

Police say they are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the firearm find.