Crime gang tried to blow open a cash machine with bomb

William Irwin MLA
William Irwin MLA

A criminal gang has attempted to blow open a cash machine with exposives at Hamiltonsbawn, Co Armagh.

Police received a report of a loud bang and suspicious activity close to the machine at a filling station on Annareagh Road around 2.30am on Thursday, 5 June.

Officers found a suspect device close to the machine and called in army bomb disposal experts, who made the device safe and removed it for further examination.

Police believe the culprits left the area in a vehicle, driving in the direction of Markethill. A black Audi car was found abandoned on the Gosford Road a short time later. Police are appealing for information, in particular from anyone who noticed a Volkswagen Passat or black Audi car, travelling between Hamiltonsbawn and Newry around this time.

Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin said: “This is a ridiculous attack and when you see the amount of metal which has been strewn across the forecourt and the close proximity of homes it is certainly a relief that no one was injured.”

He was aware of a similar attack recently when a gang used gas to “explode” a cash machine out of a wall.