09/08/2010

Child Escapes PSNI Under Car Bomb Bid

A viable device found under a police officer's car in the seaside town of Kilkeel has been condemned by the Acting Chair of the NI Policing Board, Brian Rea.

Commenting as it emerged that the female officer's child was strapped into the car ready to be driven off when the device appeared to fall off the car, he said: "This police officer has chosen to serve her community and this futile attack has done nothing but cause disruption and fear in the area where she lives.

"Had this device exploded it could have caused death or serious injury not just to the officer, but to anyone who happened to be in the vicinity at the time.

"This small minority are trying to unravel the excellent progress that has been made in policing in Northern Ireland and I would appeal to anyone who has information about this serious incident to bring it to the police," he said.

The condemnation was in sharp counterpoint to views expressed by independent republican councillor Martin Connolly - whose own niece was the PSNI victim of the failed attack.

He left Sinn Fein three years ago when the party decided to support the PSNI.

Mr Connolly declined to condemn the attack, saying he "did not want to get into the politics of condemnation", going on to say that "while there's British occupation in Ireland there will always be opposition to that, whether you agree with it or not".

Sinn Fein South Down MLA, Caitriona Ruane, said those responsible were "ignoring the people of Ireland and attempting to carry out an unjustified campaign of violence".

A further development emerged today with an apparent snub to Sinn Fein, who were seeking to meet political representatives of the Real IRA.
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MLA Gerry Kelly said the recent attacks by dissident republicans meant there was an urgent need for dialogue.

He said he would lead the talks with the 32-County Sovereignty Movement within weeks.

However, the 32-County Sovereignty Movement later played down the expectation of talks, saying it had received correspondence from Sinn Fein but had not arranged any meeting.

It accused the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams of only being interested in publicity after Republican Sinn Fein also said it will not be accepting an invitation to talks with Sinn Fein.

Gerry Adams wrote to all of the dissident republican groups hoping to persuade them to seek Irish unity through peaceful political means.

But Des Dalton from Republican Sinn Fein said Mr Adams stopped listening to fellow republican leaders when he embarked on the peace process.

He said Sinn Fein was now "absorbed into the apparatus of British rule".

Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson - who described the actions of dissident republicans as "irrational and evil" - at the weekend, has also been commenting on 'talks'

He rubbished claims in the Sunday Times that said talks were being sought through intermediaries despite opposition from the Irish government.

Owen Paterson said that he believed that it was impossible to talk with those not committed to peaceful means.

Last week, those linked to the republican splinter group blasted a Londonderry police station and attempted to kill an off-duty Army major in a failed attempt to booby-trap his car in Bangor, Co Down.

See: Derry Barracks Blasted Overnight

(BMcC/GK)

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