Security alert in Banagher after telephone bomb warning ‘a disgrace’

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Residents and politicians have hit out at those behind an ongoing security alert in Banagher, near Dungiven.

An anonymous telephone call warning was passed to police on Tuesday night claiming an explosive device had been left in the Carnanbane Road area.

ATO at the security alert in Banagher.

ATO at the security alert in Banagher.

The ‘Journal’ understands the call was made to a charity and a code word was used in the warning.

Police and army technical officers remain on scene. So far nothing has been found.

The ‘Journal’ understands the search is concentrating on a laneway off the Carnanbane Road.

The Carnanbane Road, between Feeny and Dungiven, is popular with walkers on their way to Banagher Glen.

Who is stirring this up, or what is causing it, I don’t know. It seems futile and ridiculous.

Fr. Art O’Reilly

Fr. Art O’Reilly said: “There is terrible disruption for the people who live there. Who is stirring this up, or what is causing it, I don’t know. It seems futile and ridiculous. You would think we would have got over this type of disruption by this stage. You just hope it is resolved quickly because it inconveniences so many people and their daily routine. It is just intolerable for the residents.”

One walker said: “I think it’s a disgrace what’s happening. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty.”

PSNI Supt John Magill, the District Commander, said: “Our priority is to keep people safe. We appreciate the support of local people and we are working to establish the substance of the claims.

“However, until we know exactly what we are dealing with, we must adopt a slow and methodical approach to ensure the safety of all.

Sinn Fein Councillor Sean McGlinchey at the scene of the security alert in Banagher.

Sinn Fein Councillor Sean McGlinchey at the scene of the security alert in Banagher.

“If you have any information about suspicious activity in the area, please call police. If you see any suspicious objects, dial 999 straight away”.

Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey said: “It seems to be similar to the incident in Drumsurn two weeks ago, the same pattern. Why? I can’t answer that question. The people who planted it need to answer that. It’s very worrying and people are asking me ‘why?’ Hopefully it won’t last as long as the operation in Drumsurn, which was four days. The people who have planted will hopefully come forward with more information. I just hope this is the last of it.”

Sinn Féin Colr. Tony McCaul condemned those responsible .

“This vague warning is similar to the one in Drumsurn a fortnight ago who caused disruption to the local population for four days. The people who are carrying out these acts are offering nothing but misery to the very community they claim to represent. If they have the interests of the local community at heart then they would listen to it and desist immediately from this type of activity.

“I would appeal for vigilance at this time and that whoever is responsible for leaving the device to give more details so that it can be safely removed before someone is seriously injured or killed.”

DUP Colr. Alan Robinson said on Facebook: “Whether it’s bombs being planted or bomb alerts rung through, the dinosaurs involved yet again need to get off the backs of the former Limavady Borough Community. The majority of our people just want a future where we live and socialise in peace, have a job, education for their children and a health service that they can depend on free from this backward nonsense. Failures then, failures now.”

Read more here www.derryjournal.com/news/report-of-suspect-device-in-feeny-county-derry-1-7083373