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Derry train station bomb alert ends after nothing found

The scene in Derry on Saturday night after a number of suspect objects were reported to be left at the train station on Duke Street 
Andrea McKernon

DERRY train station has reopened after searches found nothing untoward during two security alerts.

All roads have now reopened following the police operations in the city's Waterside area which began on Saturday afternoon.

The railway station was evacuated for almost 24 hours and the Quarry Steps in the Spencer Road area was cordoned off after report that objects had been left in both locations.  

Area Commander, Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan said: “The security operation commenced following claims that explosive devices had been left in the area of Quarry Steps and the railway station.

“Our priority throughout this operation was to keep people safe. We appreciate the support of local people as we worked to establish the substance of the claims and I would like to thank members of the public for their patience and co-operation during this operation.

“Whilst we have conducted a detailed search of the area I would ask local people to remain vigilant and, If you see any suspicious objects, please do not touch them but inform police immediately by dialling 999.”

Trains between Derry and Coleraine have now resumed.

The alerts meant some people who turned out for the annual Lundy’s Day parade on Saturday had difficulty getting home due to the station closure and traffic tailbacks.

DUP assembly member Gary Middleton said the alerts "will have inconvenienced many local people and visitors to our city today, but they have achieved nothing".

"Londonderry has suffered enough at the hands of those who want to drag Northern Ireland back," he said.

"The contrast between the positive work done by the Apprentice Boys and those who want to create disruption and fear could not be greater."

Sinn Féin assembly member Raymond McCartney said the alerts "do nothing for the image of the Derry as a forward looking city".

"They have also caused disruption to city centre traders who were already experiencing a slower than usual day in the run up to Christmas as a result of the Apprentice Boys parade," he said.

"Great strides have been made in recent years by the local community, the Apprentice Boys and the PSNI to ensure a respectful atmosphere and minimise disruption, and those efforts have been widely supported."

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the bomb alerts, along an Apprentice Boys parade route, were an attempt to raise tension and "diminish our peace".

"Those who seek to disrupt that respect or diminish the process of reconciliation in this city with bombs or bullets have betrayed the people of Derry," he said.

"This is not about a divide between Catholics and Protestants, unionism and nationalism or loyalists and republicans. The only divide in this city is between those who want to blow our peace apart and those of us who will stand together to protect it."

 

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