VIABLE pipe bombs found near a Catholic church hall in Dunloy in Co Antrim were not intended for an attack on the church, police have said.
The devices were found near St Joseph’s Catholic church on Tuesday night, when Army technical officers said they were viable and removed them for forensic examination.
At around 2pm yesterday North Antrim TUV MLA Jim Allister called on police “to make it clear that there is no evidence or suggestion that this device formed any part of any attempted or planned attack on the Catholic church or community”.
He added: “On the contrary, it may well turn out that the genesis of and explanation for this device is quite different. I trust that thorough forensic examination will provide answers and bring to justice those responsible.”
Later the PSNI released a statement saying “that while they were viable devices they may have been there for a considerable period of time”.
The PSNI added: “It is not believed the devices were intended for an attack on the parish hall, the nearby church, local community or police officers who on occasions use the hall for meetings to discuss local concerns. During the alert, police were in regular contact with the local clergy and elected representatives and although Bridge Road was closed for a time on Tuesday evening, disruption to the community was kept to a minimum.”