Dunloy viable bombs 'there for years'

Published Wednesday, 10 October 2012
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Police said a number of viable bombs, which were discovered in a church hall in the Co Antrim village of Dunloy, may have been there for years.

Dunloy viable bombs 'there for years'
The scene of the alert in the Co Antrim village of Dunloy. (© Kevin McAuley)

The devices - described by officers as coffee jar bombs - were found by a workman carrying out renovations on the roof of St Joseph's Parish hall at Bridge Road on Tuesday evening.

A security alert was declared and Army bomb squad officers were tasked to the scene, where they carried out examinations and discovered the items were viable.

"Police believe that while they were viable devices they may have been there for a considerable period of time," said a PSNI statement on Wednesday.

"It is not believed the devices were intended for an attack on the Parish Hall, the nearby church, local community or police officers who on occasions use the hall for meetings to discuss local concerns."

Father Aidan Brankin said he was "shocked" to learn there had been bombs sitting for many years close to a room where meetings are held.

"It was a big shock," the St Joseph's Parish Priest told UTV.

"You think of the workers yesterday morning when they were taking the roof off the front part of the building and they found this - a bucket with devices in it.

"The fear we all had ... thank goodness the area was safe and sound, but that it was a device from many, many years ago, which is good in one way but disturbing too because we've had meetings up in that room these last few years."

Police took the bomb away for further forensic testing as investigations continue.

The PSNI statement added: "Several suspicious items discovered at St Joseph's Parish Hall on Tuesday have been made safe and removed by the PSNI for further examination.

"During the alert, police were in regular contact with the local clergy and elected representatives and although Bridge Road was closed for a time on Tuesday evening, disruption to the community was kept to a minimum."

© UTV News
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14 Comments
Gary in Bangor wrote (657 days ago):
What is more offensive to the catholic church ? A band playing a tune outside an empty chapel on a main road into a town centre or bombs being hidden in a local chapel which could have been used to murder people ? The Catholic church has shown its bigoted side recently by its over the top response to a band playing a tune on a flute and its silence on the storing of viable bombs on its premises.
johhny davidson in dunloy wrote (658 days ago):
Hey. Bigoted whataboutery guy? The devices were obviously around 20 years old and in a mouldy state, left there by Provos a long time ago. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of how explosives work would know these are obsolete items. Like rusty 1912 rifles found stuffed in riverbanks many years after the UVF gunrunning. Why draw an anology with bandsmen urinating against a chapel gate in the very recent past? Do you think thats acceptable behaviour? Is that what you think will advance the Unionist position? What about a bit of progressive thinking instead of calling for 'Protestant politicos' to speak out. Us against them. Our side always right, Your side always wrong. Zero sum game - Idiot.Grow up!
s magowan in belfast wrote (658 days ago):
What uproar there would have been if it had have been an Orange Hall.
Outraged Resident in co antrim wrote (658 days ago):
Mainstream republicans need to explain at once why they put ordinary Catholics at risk with these bombs. An apology would be nice as well for the decent law abiding people who used this place of worship.
Rab c in Nortern Ireland wrote (658 days ago):
If bombs were found hidden in an Orange Hall all hell would break loose , sinn fein and the media would have a field day , keyholders would be arrested and questioned yet not one single arrest here .
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