Unionists condemn bomb attack in Victoria St

Stephen Moutray. INLM1211-802con
Stephen Moutray. INLM1211-802con

Dissident republicans blamed for Saturday’s bomb attack on police officers in Lurgan have been described as ‘morons’ and ‘disgusting’.

Ulster Unionist MLA Sam Gardiner utterly condemned what he described as a ‘reckless attack’: “Whilst the criminals responsible for it may have been hoping to murder police officers, even they are not so foolish to overlook the fact that the attack happened on a patch of waste ground where young people gather. Not only were the innocent lives of the security forces put at risk but so too were the lives of local residents. I would challenge the dissidents to explain what the death of a young child would have achieved, aside from utterly devastating their family and the local community.”

DUP MLA Stephen Moutray said: “I would utterly condemn this evil, ill thought out, disgusting attempt to murder a member of our security forces. It is clear and evident that the devices were professional and designed to kill. Quite frankly what we could have been dealing with was a lost life, a broken family and a community plunged into turmoil.”

He added: “The people of Victoria Street do not want it nor do the people of the town. What we see is a small unrepresentative group of people intent on maiming and killing those who work within communities to keep us safe and to cause maximum disruption to the lives of people.”

Lurgan Ulster Unionist Cllr Colin McCusker said: “A small minority, indeed a tiny group seem intent on disrupting the lives of the vast majority of people, not just in Lurgan, but the whole of Northern Ireland. What purpose they are serving is anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain - they do not have the support of the people of Lurgan,.”

David Simpson said it was ‘a despicable act’. “As your MP I want to lead this community forward and ensure better days ahead for the next generation.”

DUP Cllr Carla Lockhart said: “There has always been a dissident republican element in the Lurgan area who have been intent on dragging Northern Ireland back.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor Darryn Causby said: “This bomb could have had lethal potential consequences not only for the PSNI, who it seems were deliberately targeted, but also the good people of Lurgan itself. Kilwilke is a busy residential area and I know that the GAA were holding a series of events throughout the day. It’s only by the grace of God that the device which did explode didn’t kill or hurt anyone. We are making progress in NI and in the Borough generally and we don’t want to see this anymore.”

Local PUP spokesman Aaron Dowey said: “In Northern Ireland we want peace and want to move forward, unfortunately the actions of a few are continually dragging us backwards and I would urge all to reject this. I hope and trust loyalists will not retaliate or be sucked into a trap because the actions we are seeing are a direct result of the failure of Sinn Fein and SDLP to show leadership within their community. The constant focus and media attacks on everything British and Loyalist are causing tensions to rise and instead of building bridges their actions are continuing to give militant republicans undeserved credibility and justification for their actions.”