14/12/2007

GAA Security Alerts Cleared

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) seems to be under attack with several security alerts following the discovery of a device at a GAA ground in Co Down earlier in the week.

Police have 'no theories' as to who is behind a series of overnight security alerts at GAA grounds across Northern Ireland – or what the motive might be.

A spokeswoman said investigations are continuing, but have issued a warning to the public not to touch any suspicious objects – and to immediately contact police instead.

The PSNI carried out searches last night at clubs in Coalisland, Dungannon, Armagh and every GAA club in Londonderry.

Nothing was found during the searches although a suspect device found in Randalstown was later declared a hoax.

These most recent searches followed the discovery of a pipe bomb at a GAA club near Banbridge, Co Down, on Thursday, after a telephone warning.

A police spokeswoman said: "The security alert in Randalstown and other parts of the Province has ended," adding that: "Nothing untoward was found."

Meanwhile, a Sinn Fein councillor has attempted to link the incidents to loyalists.

Cllr Dessie Ward said the pipe bomb left at the gates of Ballela GAC outside Banbridge may have been linked to damage caused to a nearby Orange hall over a week ago.

"There was an attack on a nearby Orange hall only last week and it has been suggested that this attack may be in response to this," he said.

"Whatever the motivation behind all such attacks, it is still wrong and should be condemned.

"I think this is a timely reminder that there are those in our society who are intent on dragging us back-ways but they won't win."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 084 5600 8000.

See: Army Remove Device In Banbridge GAA Alert

(BMcC)

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