Belfast Telegraph

Controlled explosions carrried out at monastery

The peace and tranquillity of a Co Antrim village monastery was disrupted yesterday by a security alert.

Army bomb disposal experts carried out two controlled explosions on a suspicious package found in the car park at Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey in Portglenone at lunchtime.

The Cistercian monastery is home to 18 members of the monastic order and for most of yesterday afternoon their secluded, contemplative life was disrupted.

Last night, Fr Kelly told the Belfast Telegraph: “We’re surviving.

“A visitor to the car park noticed something suspicious under a van, so it’s not an assault on the monks.

“We were kept at the back of the monastery and away from windows while the police and Army cordoned off a section to deal with the item.”

North Antrim Sinn Fein |Assembly candidate Daithi McKay condemned those responsible and urged anyone with information to contact the police.

Meanwhile, nothing suspicious was found at another alert in Dunmurry, Co Antrim, yesterday afternoon.

Creighton's Road between McKinstry and Old Golf Course roads was closed for a time but has since reopened.

Belfast Telegraph

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