Anger after bomb making material find

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‘North Lurgan deserves peace’ say Sinn Fein after bomb making material and ammunition were found close to the railway line.

Detectives probing violent dissident republican activity found the items on Sunday during searches.

Doug Beattie MLA

Doug Beattie MLA

Detective Inspector Adrian Brown from PSNI Serious Crime Branch said: “I am pleased to have removed these deadly items from the hands of ruthless and dangerous individuals.

Sinn Fein MLA John O’Dowd said: “The weapons and suspected explosives find is a reminder that a minority of individuals continue to ignore the desire of the majority for an end to conflict.

“There is no doubt that the removal of this material has helped save lives.

“There is a peaceful path to United Ireland. I do no want to see anymore young people from north Lurgan or anywhere else end up in jail or the graveyard as a result of conflict.

Carla Lockhart

Carla Lockhart

“Those who hid these weapons have nothing to offer and do not have the backing of the local community

“The people of North Lurgan deserve peace and I would call on so called dissidents to respect that and to immediately demilitarise the area,” said Mr O’Dowd

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie praised the PSNI for removing the items from the “hands of ruthless and dangerous individuals”.

“The PSNI have yet again shown they are more than a match for republican terrorists in the area.

“Again I find myself commending the PSNI for their diligence, professionalism and courage.

“I am in no doubt this was a detailed intelligence led operation that has kept the people of the Lurgan area and wider society safe.

“It is time these individuals who are intent in trying to drive us back to the past realise that society don’t want them and they have no support.

“It’s time they began the process of moving with society in striving for peace and reconciliation instead of against it.

“In the meantime anyone who can help the police with their enquiries should do just that. At the same time I know Police forensic will be exploiting the find to gather evidence to make arrests.”

Upper Bann DUP MLA Carla Lockhart has also praised the PSNI for ‘their continued efforts to thwart violence by dissident republicans’.

Mrs Lockhart said: “I commend the PSNI for their efforts in removing these items from the hands of terrorists.

“Undoubtedly they were part of a plan to maim or murder.

“As a result of quick, robust Police action, the public have been reassured to see the PSNI are doing all they can in keeping us safe. Once again we see people attempting to hold Lurgan to ransom and drag it back.

“These individuals are not indicative of the people who live, work and do business in the town of Lurgan.

“Lurgan has suffered at the hands of terrorists in the past with members of the security forces and other innocent people losing their lives.

“There is no room for this type of activity and this is a welcome find by the PSNI.

“It is particularly encouraging following on from a robust policing operation over Easter when dissident republicans illegally paraded in paramilitary regalia with their masked faces.

“Police enquiries are continuing and I would ask anyone with any information which could assist them to contact police on 101 or alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100 per-cent anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly SDLP said: “I welcome the PSNI discovery and removal of the ammunition and bomb making materials from within our community.”

Mrs Kelly said “It was very frightening to think that there is still those intent on murder and mayhem and who have an obvious disregard for the safety of the public, given that this material was found adjacent to a very busy road.”

“I ask the public if they see any suspicious activity or objects to inform the PSNI or use confidential number - Crimestoppers 0800555111.”