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Parcel bombs sent to Celtic's Lennon were viable devices

Parcel bombs have been sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

Three 'viable explosive devices' were sent to the Irishman, his lawyer and a Glasgow politician.

Strathclyde Police have launched an investigation after the parcels "designed to cause harm" were sent to Lennon, lawyer Paul McBride and Labour politician Trish Godman, sources said.

They were initially thought to be hoax packages but analysis has revealed that they could have exploded.



Dispute

A package addressed to Lennon was intercepted at the Royal Mail sorting office in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, on March 26.

On March 28 a parcel for Trish Godman was intercepted at her constituency office and on April 15 a package was intercepted en route to Paul McBride, who has represented Lennon at Hampden during his dispute with the SFA.

A police source said: "They were viable devices designed to cause harm.

"We are treating the matter very seriously."

Mr McBride said he did not want to comment.

Ms Godman, who is stepping down as West Renfrewshire MSP, did not want to comment either as police have advised her not to.

She has been pictured wearing a Celtic top at the Scottish Parliament, the BBC reported.

Strathclyde Police are investigating and have offered safety advice to the intended recipients of the packages, as well as to Royal Mail staff and workers in the mail room at Celtic. It is the latest in a series of incidents targeting people linked with the football club.

Earlier this year, packages containing bullets were sent to Lennon and to Celtic players Paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn, all three of whom are from Northern Ireland.

Lennon (39) has endured threats and abuse during his football career.

He signed for Celtic in 2000, before retiring from the game and later becoming coach and then manager.

He was the victim of a street attack in the west end of Glasgow in 2008. He won 39 caps for Northern Ireland, but announced his shock retirement from international football in 2002 after claiming he had received death threats from an Ulster paramilitary group.

Scottish politicians have expressed their shock at the latest developments.

SNP leader and First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Let us be quite clear --there is a major police investigation under way to ensure that the individual or individuals concerned are identified and apprehended, and then brought to book with the full force of the law."

hnews@herald.ie


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