Praise for locals who clean up rioters’ rubble

Residents at Drumbeg clean up after youths attacked police in the area
Residents at Drumbeg clean up after youths attacked police in the area
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PRAISE has been heaped on Brownlow residents who took out their own brushes, shovels and bin bags to clean up after attacks on police.

Homes had to be evacuated in the Lismore Manor area on Saturday shortly after 2pm after a suspect bomb was left close to Lismore roundabout between Ardowen and Drumbeg.

Police come under attack while dealing with a suspect device near Drumbeg

Police come under attack while dealing with a suspect device near Drumbeg

The roads were closed for several hours as ATO dealt with the device.

The object - a beer keg with wires attached - was described as an elaborate hoax.

Police came under attack from youths in the area and a cordon line was also removed by youths.

Police had urged those with influence to advise the youths of the damage they are causing and the danger they are putting themselves and others in.

ATO at roundabout near Drumbeg

ATO at roundabout near Drumbeg

The PSNI also asked parents to speak to their children and keep them away from the cordon points for their own safety.

Sinn Fein Councillor Mark O’Dowd applauded those local residents who came out and ‘showed pride in their community’ by cleaning up the mess ‘created by these louts’.

“They represent the true nature of the people of Central and on behalf of the Brownlow community I applaud their initiative,” said Cllr O’Dowd.

And he challenged the hoaxers to explain their actions.

Dealing with the suspect device near Drumbeg

Dealing with the suspect device near Drumbeg

“The mindless actions of a small minority have caused disruption and inconvenience to the local residents and the many local motorists who use this road at the weekends,” said Cllr O’Dowd.

“The only people to suffer as a result of these senseless actions are the local residents whose weekend routine was disrupted and who were left to clean up the broken Buckfast battles, splattered paint and rubble that littered the roadway in front of their homes.”

Cllr O’Dowd said the incident, like others in the area, was nothing less than an attack on the nationalist community by a small group of individuals.

“Those who planted this hoax owe the community an explanation for the trouble they caused and I publicly challenge them to come forward and provide the people with that explanation or cease their senseless activity.

“Their actions are in sharp contrast to those of the local residents who showed pride in the area and came out with brushes, shovels and bin bags to clean up the mess created by these louts.”

The Mayor of Craigavon also condemned the attacks on police.

Cllr Carla Lockhart said: “Those who planted the bomb and engaged in rioting do not speak for the people of Craigavon.

“The majority of people want to get on with their lives and live peaceably. This violence does not help move Craigavon forward rather it damages the area.

“Those who plant bombs and riot are damaging their own communities. Roads had to be closed and people trying to enjoy their weekend were inconvenienced.

“I urge anyone who has information about the instigators of this violence to bring it to the police.

“I don’t blame the children who were rioting, I blame those faceless individuals who were manipulating the young people.

“I pay tribute to the police and army for the manner in which they were able to deal with the alert and restore normality.”