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Gaelic grounds in security alerts

By Deborah McAleese

Police have said they currently have no theories as to who was behind a series of overnight security alerts at GAA grounds across Northern Ireland.

They said investigations are continuing and issued a warning to the public not to touch any suspicious objects but to immediately contact police.

Searches were carried out at clubs in Coalisland, Dungannon, Armagh and every club in Londonderry. Nothing was found during the searches.

A suspect device found in Randalstown was declared a hoax.

The searches followed the discovery of a pipe bomb at a GAA club near Banbridge, Co Down, yesterday after a telephone warning.

Sinn Fein councillor Dessie Ward said the pipe bomb left at the gates of Ballela GAC outside Banbridge may have been linked to damage caused to a nearby Orange hall over a week ago.

"There was an attack on a nearby Orange hall only last week and it has been suggested that this attack may be in response to this. Whatever the motivation behind all such attacks, it is still wrong and should be condemned. I think this is a timely reminder that there are those in our society who are intent on dragging us back-ways but they won't win."

A police spokeswoman said: "The security alert in Randalstown and other parts of the Province has ended," adding that: "Nothing untoward was found."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 084 5600 8000.

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