Police at scene of security alert in Castlewellan
Police are at the scene of a security alert following a report of a suspicious object in Co Down.
The object was discovered in the Priests Road area of Castlewellan on Wednesday night.
On Thursday afternoon District Commander of Newry, Mourne and Down Humphries said that the alert was continuing.
"A public safety operation and a cordon are in place. Diversions are in operation as part of the Ardnabannon Road and Castlewellan Road remains closed," she said.
"I want to thank the community for their patience while we work to make the area safe and I would ask for their further co-operation as the investigation continues .”
SDLP MLA Colin McGrath said that he hoped the alert turned out to be "nothing sinister".
"These incidents can cause major disruption and inconvenience for local people," he said.
“I hope that the incident is cleared soon and people can get back to normality.
“In the current climate of instability and security risks it is good that people are vigilant and I would continue to urge members of the public to exercise care when they see suspicious objects. Do not approach these objects and report them to the PSNI immediately."
Local UUP councillor Alan Lewis said he was shocked by the discovery of the object, which was noticed by a local resident who contacted emergency services.
"I praise the quick and efficient response of local police who have the area sealed off and have been maintaining the cordon for a number of hours," he said.
"I commend the diligence of the local resident who spotted the device and altered emergency services.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital