Northern Ireland news

Ardoyne alert declared a hoax

Police and ATO in attendance at a security alert in the Velsheda Court.

There has been condemnation after a hoax security alert resulted in an elderly lady having to be moved from her north Belfast home in an ambulance.

Velsheda Court in Ardoyne was closed off for several hours yesterday after a suspected explosive device was discovered in an alleyway at the back of houses.

Army Technical Officers were called to examine the suspicious object, with the road closed to traffic and residents advised to leave their homes.

A local community centre was made available to residents who were affected by the alert. The device was later declared a hoax and residents allowed to return.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said the alert caused widespread disruption to around 40 households, with one seriously ill pensioner forced from her home.

"An ambulance had to be called to move one elderly woman from her house over concerns for her safety, people were understandably angry at the disruption caused", he said..

Sinn Féin Councillor Ryan Murphy has condemned those responsible for leaving the device saying "they care nothing for the people of Ardoyne".

"I would appeal to anyone with information to contact the police", he added.

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