Culprits in suspect object alert described as ‘mindless’

An ongoing security alert in the Maghery area of County Armagh will hopefully be resolved later today (Wednesday, March 24), a local SDLP Councillor has said.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 3:41 pm

Cllr Eamon McNeill said he has been liaising with police on the alert since it began on Monday.

He described those responsible as ‘mindless’ and that the safety of residents in the area and the technical team dealing with the suspicious object was paramount.

He went on: “It’s anticipated that this ongoing incident should come to a successful conclusion later on in the afternoon. Meanwhile all diversions in relation to this incident will remain in place.”

Police are appealing for eye witnesses.

He said: “I totally condemn this incident, as any right thinking person would.

“My thoughts are with the residents and businesses in the area whose lives have been so severely disrupted.”

Police sealed off a section of shoreline on the south shore of Lough Neagh near Maghery, following the discovery of a suspicious object on Monday, March 22.

It follows an alert on the Newtown Road at Camlough Lake, just outside Camlough, Co Armagh, following the discovery of a suspicious object on Monday.

Chief Superintendent Andy Freeburn South Area Commander said: “While our enquiries are at an early stage, the discovery of these two objects follow security alerts which caused disruption to the community in the Keady area last week.

“In addition to asking anyone with information about any of these incidents to come forward, I would also ask any member of the public who sees anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, whether that is a person, people, vehicle or indeed any objects that look out of place, to contact police straight away on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

A report can also be made online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/. Information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/

Local Councillor Declan McAlinden said: “I want to condemn this latest incident in Maghery following a similar one in Camlough.

“Maghery is a quiet rural settlement on the edge of south Lough Neagh.

“The community I’m sure would be horrified by this latest incident and would want to be disassociated with this type of behaviour.

“It does nothing to help the area and indeed puts Maghery on the map for all the wrong reasons.

“The community are hard working and proud of their area and you only have to look at the facilities they have built these last couple of years including a brand new training facility, play park and a very successful GAA team.”

Carla Lockhart said: “Those behind this reckless and disgraceful attack on the quiet and rural community have no support in this community and should realise that they will not win with their threats, intimidation and destruction.”

Alliance Cllr Eoin Tennyson also expressed concern: “The incident has caused great disruption for local residents. I want to thank them for their cooperation as police sought to ensure the area was safe.

“The people behind the suspicious object have nothing to offer our community. I’m currently liaising with police who are at an early stage of their inquiries.

“I would appeal to anyone with information about the incidents in Maghery, or the recent incidents in Camlough and Keady, to come forward. Furthermore, I would appeal to anyone who sees anything suspicious – be it a person, vehicle of object – to contact police without delay.”

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