Northern Ireland news

Police say Co Fermanagh hoax bomb was attempt by dissident republicans to exploit coronavirus pandemic

Police Service of Northern Ireland Superintendent Clive Beatty blamed dissident republicans.

Police in Northern Ireland have accused dissident republicans of trying to exploit the coronavirus pandemic after a hoax bomb alert caused disruption in Co Fermanagh.

The hoax object was left in the Rosslea area. It was found by a member of the public on Monday night, prompting a day-long security alert involving police and Army bomb disposal experts.

PSNI Clive Beatty blamed dissident republicans.

“Given the unprecedented challenges the PSNI is facing in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, it is hard to fathom there are individuals in our community who are intent on causing such disruption by exploiting this global emergency for their own ends,” he said.

“Dissident republicans are a small minority and we need to stand as a united community, to say loudly that they are a disgrace and a distraction.”

Superintendent Beatty added: “It beggars belief that dissident republicans would want to exploit this situation for their own ends.

“Their selfish behaviour ended up diverting valuable police resources away from other community priorities for a significant number of hours.

“This says so much about dissident republicans – that in the face of a national emergency their first thought is to use the opportunity to target emergency services and first responders – the very people who are doing all they can to help communities and take care of the vulnerable.

“I would like to thank the Rosslea community, who were disrupted today, for their patience and co-operation during the security alert.

“The dissident republicans responsible for this senseless act went to great lengths to make this device appear viable and to plant it on Clough Road. They didn’t care about the consequences of their actions and how it would affect others.”

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Northern Ireland news