Police hit out after Lurgan arms find

Some of the weapons uncovered during the police search in Lurgan.
Some of the weapons uncovered during the police search in Lurgan.
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Police have hit out at dissident republicans following a major arms find in Lurgan.

In a social media post Craigavon PSNI thanked the people of north Lurgan following the discovery of the weapons which they said were meant to kill police or their Prison Service colleagues.

The find was made yesterday ((Friday, August ,5) following a lengthy search in the area.

Describing the dissidents as the dregs of society they said they had hidden 'their tools of death and destruction' in places where children play and people remember their loved ones.

The PSNI poster said : "More disruption. More travel chaos. More trains stopped. More innocent people inconvenienced. More weapons which so easily could have killed or maimed.

"Nobody asked for this but, yet again, we're left to pick up the pieces after the neanderthals have been at their work.

"We know that sadly North Lurgan is used to having to be patient, and we thank you for the same that has been shown this time around. Without that understanding, we couldn't do our job.

"As you may have seen in the news, we have found multiple firearms, mortars, firing tubes, pipe bombs and component parts to IEDs. Without question these were meant to kill. They were almost certainly earmarked for ourselves, or our Prison Service colleagues.

"As events in Lisburn recently showed however, these murderers have complete disregard for all human life. The indiscriminate weapons they use can, and do, easily end up putting all members of the public at risk. Do not be fooled by their talk of who they target- when they are allowed to operate, everyone is at risk.

"This was not a quick operation, but we don't make an apology for the speed in which it was done. Where lives are at risk, that always trumps inconvenience, and is not something we will compromise on if it puts you or us at risk. We understand how frustrating that can be, but we trust that you understand why it has to happen that way. Making sure that you don't step on something that could end your life is more important than making sure you can drive along a certain road.

"These dregs of society care so little about their communities that they hide tools of death and destruction within their own area. Places children play, places dog walkers frequent, even places people go to remember their loved ones.

"The same people who hide their weapons and explosives in cemeteries would have you believe we trampled over graves and tore up burial plots. We didn't. Yes, we must go anywhere that terrorism and parasitic criminality goes, and that sometimes includes places like graveyards, but unlike them, who would happily use a sacred place as a weapons hide, we work against them with dignity. Yes, we search, but we do so carefully, with sensitivity and with as little disruption as is possible. It is also worth remembering that the last time we searched there, sadly, we found a viable explosive device. Disgusting.

"We will not claim to always get it right, but we will always try, and we must continue to try. We understand that protracted search operations cause upset, alarm, frustration and inconvenience, but it is all worth it to keep you safe. If one life is saved, that has to be worthwhile.

"To those still not convinced about our need to do what we do, the challenge is straight forward- what are YOU doing to stop these people from operating in your area?

"Thank you Lurgan for your continued support. Thank you for your patience. It is getting harder and harder for these people to operate and that is in huge part down to you.

"Stay safe out there, and if you see any suspicious activity please report it straight away on 101.

"Thank you."