Simon Coveney UVF bomb scare: Man, 41, arrested after woman held and suspected gun seized by PSNI

A 41-year-old man has now been arrestedm in addition to a woman by police investigating a security alert that led to the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister being evacuated from an event in north Belfast.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 27th March 2022, 10:14 am
Updated Sunday, 27th March 2022, 12:08 pm

The UVF is suspected of involvement in the incident on Friday which saw Simon Coveney being evacuated from the event organised by the John and Pat Hume Foundation in north Belfast.

The Houben Centre, on the Crumlin Road, was evacuated and a funeral service at nearby Holy Cross church was disrupted.

Police said the driver of a van was threatened by two gunmen and forced to drive a device which he believed to be a live bomb to the church.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, being ushered from the room due to a security alert whilst he was speaking at a peacebuilding event organised by the John and Pat Hume Foundation at The Houben Centre, Belfast. Issue date: Friday March 25, 2022.

On Sunday morning, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said a 38-year-old woman had been arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm in suspicious circumstances, possessing criminal property and concealing criminal property.

A PSNI spokesperson said she was in custody assisting police with their inquiries.

It comes after the Serious Crime Branch carried out searches in the Ballysillan and Springmartin areas of north and west Belfast on Saturday evening.

A suspected firearm, two vehicles, a quantity of controlled drugs and a large sum of cash were seized by police.

The incident was condemned by politicians across the political spectrum.

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis described the actions as “reprehensible”.

On Sunday at noon the PSNI said Detectives from the Serious Crime Branch investigating a hijacking and security alert in north Belfast on Friday, 25 March, have arrested a 41-year-old man under the Terrorism Act. The man is being questioned in Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Ben Lowry