Northern Ireland news

Man arrested after attack in Portadown

A hammer is examined by forensic investigators. Picture by Tony Hendron
Andrew Madden

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder yesterday following a serious assault on two men in Portadown.

The victims, aged 22 and 25, were approached by a car at about 4.30am on the Garvaghy Road.

It is understood a group of men brandishing weapons, believed to have included a hammer, got out of the vehicle and attacked the pair.

Police said a car believed to be linked to the attack was found burnt-out a short time later in the Drumnagoon Road area.

Both victims were brought to hospital for treatment for head injuries.

One of the men was yesterday in a stable condition at Craigavon Area Hospital, while the other was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where his condition was also described as stable.

The Garvaghy Road was closed for several hours yesterday morning as police said they were dealing with a "major incident".

Forensic officers conducted a investigation at the scene, where blood and broken glass was visible on the ground.

A hammer was also pictured being recovered and taken away for further examination.

A 50-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

SDLP councillor Declan McAlinden condemned the attack.

"Residents have woken up to the shocking news that two young lads were assaulted coming home from a night out," he said.

"It appears to be a random attack, and it's a worrying attack.

"The people in this community are a proud community, and they absolutely don't want this kind of activity in the area."

Sinn Féin's Keith Haughian said it was his understanding that a "car pulled up and four individuals got out and attacked the men in a serious assault with hammers".

The council told the BBC he believed the two men's mobile phones had also been smashed.

DUP Upper Bann assembly member Jonathan Buckley also condemned the attack.

"This was a very serious attack carried out by dangerous individuals prepared to inflict such violence upon other people.

"I understand the police have made an arrest in connection with the incident and would encourage anyone with information to pass it on so those responsible can be brought to justice.

"There can be no place for such violence in our community and I would congratulate the police for their swift action to date."

Detectives appealed for anyone with information to contact them at Lurgan on 101, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Northern Ireland news