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Pipe bomb in Crumlin kids' play area forces families to flee homes

By Angela Rainey

Published 11/03/2016

The scene in Crumlin on Wednesday night
The scene in Crumlin on Wednesday night

Residents were forced to flee after a pipe bomb was found in a children's play area on Wednesday.

Families were evacuated from their homes after the discovery in Ballydonaghy Meadows in Crumlin, Co Antrim, at around 10.30pm.

Some of the 30 people forced from their beds took shelter with relatives while others were forced to spend the night in Crumlin Leisure Centre.

Mother-of-three Suzanne (35) said the perpetrators should be ashamed of themselves. "We got a knock at the door from police saying a bomb had been found under someone's car and to stay in the back of the house," she added.

"Then we were told to get in the car to leave and that the bomb was on the green where the kids around here play.

"It was a nightmare because I then had to get my youngest two, aged one and three, and the seven-year-old out of bed and take them in the rain to their granny's house.

"My first thought was, 'What if there are more bombs under the cars?' I panicked, but we loaded the car and got out as quick as we could. We didn't return until 6.30am and we didn't know whether there'd be a house to come back to."

Another resident, Bill (68), who had to leave his home and sleep on his daughter's settee, was furious with those behind the pipe bomb.

"Whoever did this is ridiculous," he said. "Young kids and elderly people forced out of their homes in the dark of night in the pouring rain.

"When you hear of these things, you automatically think it's a police or prison officer being targeted, but there's none living in this street. I wish there was, though, and perhaps there wouldn't be as much bother.

"I moved out of Belfast to get away from the people who plant bombs and don't care who they hurt. It seems they're everywhere now. Crumlin is a nice area. We don't want scum here."

After the bomb, which police described as a "viable device" was made safe, residents were allowed to return home at 2.30am.

Councillor Linda Clarke said: "As the chair of Antrim and Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership, I condemn the actions of the minority in this country who seek to cause fear, worry and untold unnecessary disruption to residents in our local communities.

"We were shocked to hear of last night's incident. It is disgraceful that families, including young children, were displaced from their homes.

"The actions of these people determined to cause widespread destruction are abhorrent and completely unacceptable. I would urge anyone with any information to contact PSNI on 101 or contact the anonymous, confidential Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111."

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