Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Bomb and firearms among weapons found in woods

Published 05/08/2016

An item recovered from a dissident republican weapons hide which was discovered by police in Northern Ireland
An item recovered from a dissident republican weapons hide which was discovered by police in Northern Ireland

A dissident republican weapons hide including a mortar explosive has been discovered by police in Northern Ireland.

A bomb is still being dealt with in Lurgan, Co Armagh, and three firearms were also recovered.

The weapons cache was found in a wooded area and follows a number of recent similar seizures.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Detective Superintendent Karen Baxter said: "We consider this to be a significant and successful find.

"It has made communities safer and it has undoubtedly saved lives."

Some of the items were ready for use and others were in an advanced state of preparedness.

Det Supt Baxter said detectives believed one of the finds was a "fully constructed explosive device".

Members of the security forces are under severe threat from dissident republicans opposed to the peace process who have killed police and prison officers as well as soldiers about to deploy to Afghanistan.

A prison officer who trained new recruits died earlier this year following an under car booby-trapped bomb.

Police searched the area on the outskirts of Lurgan for two days, causing major disruption.

The weapons were close to a derelict house near the railway line between Belfast and Portadown in Co Armagh.

Det Supt Baxter said: "It has all the hallmarks of violent dissident republican activity.

"It is sad in some respects that people are so intent on killing other individuals in Northern Ireland.

"However, I am pleased with the success we have had here today. We have worked extremely hard."

She added: "We have a number of ongoing investigations against dissident republican activity across Northern Ireland and this has been a really successful day for policing."

Police seized:

:: constituent parts of homemade explosives;

:: improvised mortars, launchers and a number of pipe bombs;

:: three firearms, a variety of ammunition and a Taser stun gun;

:: a range of devices to initiate explosives.

Earlier this year, parts for making bombs were discovered in forests near Larne in Co Antrim.

Policing Board chairwoman Anne Connolly said: "It's a great result for the PSNI to find these firearms/munitions and take them away from those who would have used them to cause harm in our community."

DUP Upper Bann MP David Simpson said: "This a huge and significant blow against dissident republicans who want to draw Northern Ireland back into the dark days of terrorism."

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph