Bombs could have caused “serious harm”

PSNI Chief Inspector Gary Eaton.
PSNI Chief Inspector Gary Eaton.

Several bombs found in a Derry flat could have caused “serious harm”, police have said.

British Army technical officers made the devices safe after they were discovered in a flat at Maureen Avenue on Monday evening.

A number of residents were evacuated to Brooke Park Leisure Centre for the duration of the security operation.

A 30 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of dissident republican activity during the security operation..

Derry’s top cop, Chief Inspector Gary Eaton, said the fact a number of devices were found in a flat meant they had the potential to cause “significant damage or serious harm”.

He said the evacuation of the area “caused disruption”, adding; : “Our primary concern is to keep people safe and prevent injury to the public.”

Sinn Fein and the SDLP have condemned the actions of those responsible for the devices.

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper said organisations dedicated to using violence should “go away”.

He said: “I visited Brooke Park Leisure Centre on Monday night to offer whatever practical assistance I could to help residents who had been evacuated there as part of the emergency response plan. It’s absolutely ridiculous that in this day and age people have to put up with the stress and upset this has caused.

“Those responsible for these actions should take stock of what the community is saying and cease these activities forthwith.

“There is no justification for these activities in the political climate in which we now live. Everyone now has access to a political course on which to articulate their goals and aspirations and to seek support for them. These organisations should listen to the Irish people and go away.”

SDLP Councillor John Boyle said those responsible are “enemies of the community”. He added: “I am deeply shocked that police have discovered a number of devices that were capable of causing serious harm.

“It is especially alarming that these devices were left in an apartment in a built-up area as that could have concentrated the damage caused had they exploded.

“There is no support in Derry for acts such as this and creating a culture of fear in the town cannot further any cause by so much as an inch. Those behind these devices are enemies of the community – they must be found and face the criminal justice system.”