Newry Courthouse explosion
23 Feb 2010
Police in Newry are investigating an explosion outside the Newry Court House which occured at around 10pm on Monday 22 February.
Police are asking anyone who noticed any suspicious vehicles in the area to contact them at Newry on 0845 600 8000. Alternatively information can be passed anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
Chief Constable Matt Baggott has strongly condemned the reckless attack in Newry City centre and is urging members of the community to assist police with their investigation.
He said: "It is a miracle that no one was killed or seriously injured. Warning calls were made to a local hospital and a local business less than 20 minutes before the device exploded. It is only thanks to a member of the public contacting us that we are not dealing with fatalities.
“I know that every decent person will join with me in condemning this attack and I can assure people across Northern Ireland that my colleagues will not be deterred from providing a first class impartial Police Service.
“This incident comes just days after a mortar bomb was abandoned outside a police station in the village of Keady.
“The people responsible for both of these cowardly attacks refuse to accept that peace is working in Northern Ireland and show a complete disregard for the lives of the people in this community. They do not care who they hurt and simply want to drag Northern Ireland back to the dark days of the past.
“Despite the ongoing threat to my colleagues, the local officers in Newry and Mourne commit themselves daily to working in the community to provide them with the level of policing and support they deserve and we would ask everyone to work together to achieve this. We are dedicated to working with local neighbourhoods and providing a more personal service but we can only do this with the support of the community.
“My colleagues work day in, day out to protect our children, our elderly and vulnerable, our communities. They deal with serious harm every day and they do this knowing their lives are constantly at risk. And for that I commend their bravery, courage and dedication.
“I made a commitment to put extra resources on the streets and this is already underway with 255 more officers already working with their local neighbourhoods and on patrol across the province.
“Dissident republicans want to drag everyone back to the past to suit their misguided objectives. They seek to target those who are at the very forefront of moving communities forward. The Police Service, like the vast majority of the community, is determined not to let that happen. These callous criminals have no role to play in this community and have absolutely no support from the ordinary decent people living here.
“Newry is thriving as a city and attacks like this only damage the local economy and the lives of the people living there. These terrorists simply want to destroy all that is good about Northern Ireland and have no place in a modern civilised society.
“Crime in Northern Ireland is currently the lowest it has been in 12 years. This too goes to show that communities are moving on and recognise the efforts of PSNI in making Northern Ireland a safer place to live and work in.
“It is the job of the Police Service to bring to justice anyone who breaks the law. We will continue to do this objectively and impartially and take a robust stance against all dissident republican terrorist activity. We are confident that every right minded member of society will continue to work with us and to give us the information we need to put these people out of business once and for all and in doing so, make Northern Ireland a safer place.
“My appeal is not only to the local community but also to the leadership of all our politicians to support police in building peace and to not let this incident detract us all from that goal. I would ask anyone with information to provide it to us.
“Anyone with information should contact police on 0845 600 8000. Alternatively members of the public can pass information anonymously to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”