UPDATE: Youths stoning police dealing with security alert in Lurgan

  • Homes evacuated due to security alert
  • Trains disrupted between Lurgan and Moira
  • Translink says to expect delays

The security alert in Lurgan has ended tonight after two suspicious objects examined by ATO were declared elaborate hoaxes.

The railway line has reopened and residents are back in their homes, police confirmed.

Craigavon Area Commander, Chief Inspector Paul Reid, said: “The security alert began at around 9.30pm on Sunday night after police received a report that two devices had been left on or near the railway track at Lake Street. A security operation was swiftly put into place by police to establish the exact location of the devices. In order to ensure the safety of local residents, a number of homes were evacuated. Lake Street was closed to traffic and the nearby railway line was also closed.

“We understand how frustrating it is when roads and rail lines are closed, causing delays and general inconvenience, however this is never a decision we take lightly. Our first priority is always keeping people safe and these closures were necessary to ensure the safety of all in the area. I would like to thank local residents and all those affected by this incident for their patience and understanding but I am, however, very disappointed that, as my officers were engaged in helping to make the area safe, they were attacked by a small number of youths throwing bottles and stones.”

A large number of young people had been firing stones and bottles at the PSNI as they deal with the alert in the Kilwilkie area.

The PSNI had issued an urgent appeal to parents to check where their children are.

Security alert in Lurgan

Security alert in Lurgan

In a statement they said: “Appeal to parents - if your kids are off school today please check where they are now. We are currently trying to deal with a security alert in North Lurgan where we have large groups of youths mostly boys causing trouble.

“This is around Levin Road area. They have stoned and bottled several Police vehicles and are torturing local residents.

“There are clearly ring leaders, some easily led and some just spectating. Dealing with them is not the best use of police time and getting into bother with police is not best for their future prospects.

“Nobody wants this. We are doing our best to keep this community safe despite what these young people might think.”

Police were made aware of suspicious activity around the Lake Street area of Lurgan

Chief Inspector Paul Reid

Train services have been disrupted since early morning by the on-going alert.

The alert started on Sunday evening.

Police say Lake Street is closed between North Street and Victoria Street in the town.

The railway line between Lurgan and Moira is also closed.

Burnt out bin in Levin Road Lurgan

Burnt out bin in Levin Road Lurgan

Translink say commuters should expect delays. Replacement bus services are in place, including for Enterprise passengers travelling between Belfast and Dublin.

Chief Inspector Paul Reid said: “Police were made aware of suspicious activity around the Lake Street area of Lurgan yesterday evening, Sunday, 15 March.

“The street has been closed between North Street and Victoria Street. The railway line has also been closed affecting rail services this morning.

“A number of houses have been evacuated.

“There are no further details at this stage.”

In a later statement the chief inspector said; “Police in Craigavon are asking for the public’s patience and support as they continue to deal with a security alert in Lake Street.

“We understand how frustrating it can be when a road is closed, causing delays and general inconvenience, however this is never a decision we take lightly. Our first priority is always keeping people safe and this road closure is necessary to ensure the area is safe for the public to move through.

“Investigations of this nature can often take some time I am asking the public to be patient and assured that we are doing all we can to return lake Street to normal as soon as is safely possible.”