Shantallow residents evacuated from their homes

SECURITY ALERT. . . .The scene at Shantallow at lunchtime yesterday as a security alert saw an area around Drumleck Drive sealed off the PSNI officers. 2812JM07
SECURITY ALERT. . . .The scene at Shantallow at lunchtime yesterday as a security alert saw an area around Drumleck Drive sealed off the PSNI officers. 2812JM07

There was widespread condemnation last night of those responsible for placing a device near a H Block monument in Shantallow where a commemoration was due to take place to mark the anniversary of the death of well known republican James McDaid.

The commemoration event which had Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as the main speaker was then moved to the City Cemetery, where it took place yesterday afternoon.

A number of houses were evacuated in the Drumleck Drive area after the suspicious object was reported to police yesterday morning. The area remained sealed off for a large part of the day while army technical officers examined the scene. Templemore Sports Complex was made available for residents whose homes were evacuated.

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney, who was at the scene, said the device had the potential to cause death. or serious injury to people living in the area.

The Derry MLA said those responsible were inflicting misery on people locally and nationally.

He said: “Whether this device turns out to be real or an elaborate hoax it has caused severe disruption to the local residents as well to a Republican commemoration planned to honour a local man who died forty years ago, fighting to protect his community. This is in total contrast to these groups who continue to pour more misery on communities across Ireland.

“The area is very close to local shops and a green where children play so if this device had have exploded it could have caused severe injury or death to passers by.

“There is no reason whatsoever to target any person or home and those people who carried out this attack need to explain their rationale to the local community who now find themselves removed from their homes on this cold day.”