Dungiven bomb bid: ‘I was standing right next to it’ says woman

Police on scene at Ard-Na-Smoll in Dungiven on Tuesday.
Police on scene at Ard-Na-Smoll in Dungiven on Tuesday.

A Dungiven woman whose home was targeted by bombers has revealed how she unknowlingly stood next to the deadly device left on her doorstep.

The woman, who does not want to be identified, said she cannot understand why her Ard-Na-Smoll home was targeted, and believes her family was victim to what she described as a random attack.

The woman was at home alone and in bed on Monday night when she got up to make a bottle for her two-year-old daughter, who is sick. Her partner, Gavin Watson said they could have been killed.

When downstairs, the woman said she saw a flash of light through the front window. The woman went outside to discover the wheelie bin on fire and neighbours attempting to put the fire out.

The woman said she ran back into her daughter, but was alerted to a second fire at her other wheelie bin outside the front door.

“My neighbour shouted ‘There’s something there... get out’. I looked down and there it was. It was about the size of a Coke bottle,” said the woman. “I was standing right beside it.”

The woman grabbed her child and fled from the house through the back door, lifting her daughter over the fence to a neighbour.

“Piecing it all together now, I’m thinking maybe they picked our house because Gavin wasn’t here and it was dark and there was no car outside, that it was random and we were unlucky, but they knew what they were doing. There are swings at the front of the house, and there are trampolines in gardens down the street. They knew this is a family area. We are quiet, ordinary people, trying to lead ordinary lives. We go to work and come home and try to lead a quiet life,” she said.

Asked what she would say to the those who left the device, the woman said: “Nobody expects to walk out their front door and see that. Why would you target innocent people in the mouth of Christmas? Why was a child ripped from her bed in the middle of the night, terrified? It needs to stop.”

The woman said she would not be forced from her home.

“No way,” she said. “This is my home that I’ve built up. It’s close to my father who I look after so I need to be close to him. They won’t win.”

Police have now left the scene of the security alert.

Police have branded the incident as “attempted murder” and have appealed for information.

Read more here: www.derryjournal.com/news/dungiven-man-says-my-family-could-have-been-killed-1-7094252