11/12/2018

School Closed And Homes Evacuated As Belfast Bomb Alert Continues

A Belfast primary school remains closed today, Tuesday 11 December, and many west Belfast residents have been evacuated from their homes due to an ongoing security alert.

A "signifiant number" of houses were evacuated as police closed off Upper Dunmurry Lane.

The bomb alert is now entering its fourth day, after a weekend of disruption after a device on Saturday sparked a police operation that lasted until Sunday, in which nothing was found.

A PSNI spokesperson said further information had been received on Monday, prompting heavy police presence in the Old Golf Course Road area and the evacuation of homes, a primary school and a local church.

Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School said it had been advised to remain closed.

Sinn Fein councillor Charlene O'Hara expressed anger at the situation. She said: "Those responsible for causing this alert in the area have brought local people nothing but disruption and chaos in the month of Christmas.
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"If anyone has any information about it then they should bring it forward to the police."

"These attacks on the community must stop," SDLP councillor Brian Heading added.

"People are entitled to live in peace and safety."

PSNI Superintendent Melanie Jones explained: "I fully understand the evacuation and road closures are causing significant disruption.

"However, public safety is our primary concern and we will not take any risks.

"I thank the community for their patience and understanding as we continue what may be a protracted operation."

In the earlier security alert, SDLP councillor Stephen Magennis hit out at the serious disruption many are experiencing on the road "which is the main access for people from the area to the motorway".

"An event due to be held for hundreds of children has already been cancelled and this will impact on Christmas shoppers," he said.

"Those responsible for leaving a device in the area have brought local people nothing but disruption and chaos.

"If anyone has any information about the location of this device then they should bring it forward immediately to the police."



(JG)

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