| 16.4°C Dublin

Army bomb disposal experts destroy viable device thrown at police station


The Police Service of Northern Ireland

The Police Service of Northern Ireland

The Police Service of Northern Ireland

A viable incendiary bomb had been thrown into the grounds of a police station in Northern Ireland, a senior officer has said.

Army bomb squad officers carried out a controlled explosion on the device which was hurled over the security fencing surrounding the station in the seaside town of Ballycastle, Co Antrim.

A second suspect object also found nearby was described as a hoax.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Superintendent John Magill said: "This was a dangerous situation for the Ballycastle community as well as for police officers and staff.

"The Ramoan Road is a busy road and businesses and health and social care facilities are located close to the station."

The alarm was raised before midday.

A number of homes and businesses on Ramoan Road were evacuated while Army technical officers (ATO) examined the scene and then made the bomb safe.

Mr Magill added: "Two devices were thrown into the grounds of the police station and were discovered this morning. One was a viable incendiary device, the other a hoax.

"Thankfully those devices were made safe by ATO and disruption to the community was kept at a minimum.

"Police and the people of Ballycastle have a broadly positive relationship.

"My hope is that this relationship comes through again as we appeal for information in relation to this incident."

The thwarted attack has been condemned by Sinn Fein MLA for North Antrim, Daithi McKay.

He said: "All it has done is bring disruption to the lives of the local community. Those responsible need to end these futile actions immediately and let people get on with their lives."

Meanwhile, Trevor Lunn of the cross community Alliance Party, who sits on the Northern Ireland Policing Board, said: "The people behind these devices have nothing to offer our society. They just wish to bring violence and disruption on to our streets and have no care for who may be injured or killed by their actions.

"The vast majority of the public are opposed to the actions of these thugs.

"Those behind these devices are a danger to the public and must be urgently apprehended by the police."

PA Media