Horrified locals evacuated from Donaghcloney

RESIDENTS in Donaghcloney were ‘horrified’ when evacuated during a police operation which uncovered a suspected firearm.

Army bomb experts were tasked to the house in William Street in the village following an incident in Newcastle, County Down.

According to the PSNI, a 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and a number of drug offences and a 36-year-old woman on suspicion of disorderly behaviour and assault on police following an incident in the Donard Park area of Newcastle also on Sunday.

“Shortly before 7.30pm, two windows of a car parked in the area were smashed,” said a PSNI spokesperson.

After this incident the police also conducted a search of the property in the William Street area of Donacloney.

“A number of items of drugs paraphernalia, fireworks and a de-activated firearm were seized during the search,” said the PSNI spokesperson.

“Both remain in custody assisting police with their enquiries.”

It is understood the properties were evacuated as a precaution during the search as Army Technical Officers checked out the house.

The man and woman are in custody helping police with their inquiries.

DUP councillor Mark Baxter said residents were ‘horrified at the developments in the quiet residential area of Donacloney’.

“My heart goes out to those residents who in some cases had to get their families out of bed and take refuge elsewhere.

“Residents are shocked and stunned but relieved that the police took such swift action. I would like to commend them.

“I would urge local residents to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police in Lurgan or call Crimestoppers,” said Councillor Baxter.