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Frustration over Carrickfergus estate security alert

By Allan Preston

Published 24/08/2016

A red Audi is examined during the security alert
A red Audi is examined during the security alert

Families in a Carrickfergus estate plagued by loyalist tensions were forced out of their homes for several hours last night after a security alert.

Shortly after 5pm yesterday police were called to the Castlemara Drive area.

While the scene was cordoned off, Army bomb disposal officers used a robot to examine the underside of a red Audi car. At around 9pm police announced the alert had ended and nothing untoward had been found.

Local DUP councillor Billy Ashe visited residents last night.

"I've been speaking to people who are absolutely devastated that this is coming to their community," he said.

"I spoke to one particular family returning home from work who had to seek refuge in one of the community centres.

"There does seem to be some tensions which have been played out in the Castlemara estate this year.

"But the ordinary decent people don't want this.

"I'm not sure who is behind this but I would appeal to them: sort out your squabbles elsewhere."

In July this year police arrested two men and confiscated a crossbow after loyalist rioting erupted.

The disturbances came just two days after a man was shot in both legs nearby.

And in May a petrol bomb was thrown at a police car in the local area.

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