Grenade among graveyard weapons find

Published Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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A controlled explosion has been carried out on a grenade found at the centre of a security alert at a graveyard in Coleraine.

Grenade among graveyard weapons find
The scene of the cordoned off graveyard in Coleraine. (© Mark Jamieson)

Army Technical Officers attended the scene at Laurel Hill Road after the alarm was raised on Tuesday afternoon, when a digger unearthed a suspicious object.

While St John's Catholic Church was cordoned off overnight into Wednesday morning, no homes had to be evacuated and no road closures were put in place.

The controlled explosion was carried out on Tuesday night on the grenade - which police say is believed to have been an "old style" type device.

Forensic officers have also removed two handguns and a quantity of ammunition for testing.

The items are believed to have been in the graveyard for "a considerable period of time".

The security alert has since ended and the cordon was lifted at about 8am on Wednesday.

SDLP Councillor Stephanie Quigley said: "It is terrible to think that these items were buried in the grave yard and I know that this alert will have caused distress to local people who may have family and friends buried in the cemetery.

"This is sacred ground and it is awful to think that anyone would have had such lack of respect and regard for the deceased that they would bury such items in a grave," she added.

"I have been in touch with the security forces today regarding the alert and I am happy that it has passed off with minimum disruption to local people as no homes were evacuated."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
AK in Coleraine wrote (170 days ago):
Not on BBC NI any more.... not now big news, apparently not terrorism!!! Thank goodness bad enough for local people & the poor family who has to bury their loved one. Heights not Killowen so wish media would stop making two separate areas as one. Sympathy to family who have a loved one to bury.
samuel smyth in coleraine wrote (170 days ago):
From the position of where the grave was being dug it is in part of the graveyard that was a piece of waste ground that the Chapel recently took over from the council/housing executive. From reports it would seem the weapons have been there "a considerable period of time". Therefore were not burried in a graveyard but in waste ground. I guess that makes the story less sensational but more realistic. Sam
Vee in Belfast wrote (170 days ago):
This is a bit much!!! Can't they even let the dead rest in peace?
have a nice day. in Derry wrote (170 days ago):
O dear Gregory! are you the m.p for that area.. what are them things put up all around the church????
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