Belfast Telegraph

Dissidents strike again: Pipe-bomb targeting retired female PSNI officer defused

By Anne Madden

Dissident republicans have been blamed for a pipe-bomb attack on a retired female police officer’s home which has been described as “an attempt to murder”.

The viable device, which was placed at the entrance to the woman’s house in the village of Laurencetown, Co Down, on Thursday, has been widely condemned by police chiefs and politicians.

District Commander, Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson, described it as “an abhorrent attack on a lady who has spent a large part of her life serving her community”.

It is understood she had only recently left the PSNI.

A police spokeswoman said last night the incident is being linked to dissident republicans.

The bomb was found in the Banbridge Road area of the village. Army bomb disposal experts examined it and carried out a controlled explosion.

The security alert caused major disruption and a number of residents were moved from their homes during the operation.

Mr Robinson said: “We are extremely fortunate that this device was located and made safe before someone was injured or killed.

“This was an attempt to murder a police officer and the people

behind this have shown a complete disregard for the entire community in Laurencetown. Had this device exploded any one unfortunate enough to be passing by could have been seriously injured or killed.”

The police chief made a direct appeal for information.

“Did you notice anything out of the ordinary, any vehicles or suspicious activity in the days running up to this attack? Is there any information, no matter how small, that you think may help our investigation?

“If you believe you can help, please contact us in Banbridge on 0845 600 8000.”

Members of the Policing Board condemned those responsible.

Board chair Brian Rea said: “Our thoughts are first and foremost with the retired officer and her family.

“During her career this officer served the whole community and I hope the wider community now give her full support after this despicable attack at her home.”

DUP councillor David Herron described it as “deplorable” and called for an end to all such acts.

“I hope the lady gets over this trauma and I hope nothing like this happens again,” he said.

“Police officers in the area need to check their security and keep themselves safe. Somebody must have noticed something, for a pipe-bomb to be left in a village like this.”

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