30 homes evacuated during bomb alert

Up to 30 homes had to be evacuated and roads were closed during a four hour security alert on Sunday afternoon in Edenderry Park.

Police in Banbridge received a report of a suspicious looking object found in the area at 12.37pm and the PSNI and ATO attended the scene.

A police spokesperson said that ‘nothing untoward’ was found and the alert ended at 4.54pm.

According to reports, the alert came about when a resident of the oldest estate in the town noticed something suspicious underneath his car.

Councillor Junior McCrum said that the police took it serious enough to evacuate the area and close roads.

“Perhaps whoever saw this device thought that it was a booby trap,” he said. “I suppose it was a warning and reminded people in Banbridge that this could happen and the police were taking it very seriously.

“From what I have been hearing it just seems that it was a case of mistaken identity. I suppose it was a case of being safe rather than sorry.

“We just cannot take the chance when lives are at risk. There could have been a viable device and at least the police took the call serious enough to have it checked out.”

Upper Bann MP David Simpson said that the security alert had brought widespread chaos to the area.

He said, “I was pleased to learn that the bomb alert in Banbridge at the weekend was declared as ‘nothing untoward’ however this does not take away from the fact that many residents were evacuated from their homes.

“Banbridge people and the traders have worked hard to make it a town to be proud of.”

Councillor Glenn Barr said, “My thoughts are with those who where effected by the alert in Edenderry Park, fortunately this was a hoax.

“I pay my respects to PSNI and the Army bomb disposal personnel who carried out a swift evacuation. We cannot take enough precautions. It is one of the busiest towns in the area. News like this is not advantageous to residents or traders.”

Councillor David Herron said, “I thought we had finished with all these sort of alerts. Thank goodness it was a hoax.”

Councillor Seamus Doyle of the SDLP said, “It is all very well saying that it was hoax when it was over, but the people who lived nearby did not know that. It caused great distress at the time.

“I am concerned that some people believed that this was the real thing. The residents at the time did not know what it was at the time.”

Councillor Jim McElroy said, “PSNI took this seriously enough to evacuate homes.”