Vow of firm stance on drugs after day long security alert at graveyard

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After a day long security alert at a Co Armagh cemetery, a top PSNI officer has vowed to take ‘a firm stance against drug dealing’.

The security alert at St Colman’s Cemetery in Lurgan lasted several hours yesterday with parts of the graveyard sealed off by the PSNI.

Police at the scene of a security alert at a  Lurgan cemetery on Monday. I't is understood the Army bomb disposal team has been called to St Coleman's graveyard in Lurgan, Co Armagh.'Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Police at the scene of a security alert at a Lurgan cemetery on Monday. I't is understood the Army bomb disposal team has been called to St Coleman's graveyard in Lurgan, Co Armagh.'Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

At one stage it is understood a bomb disposal team were tasked to the area.

A spokesperson said an object was removed for ‘further examination’

Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor thanked the community for their ‘patience and support during what was an unexpectedly long day’.

“It’s never pleasant to have such a sensitive place cordoned off, but we cannot take chances when it comes to keeping you safe.

“We started the day searching for the drugs which cause so much destruction in the community, and ended up dealing with a suspicious object.

“Rest assured, we will continue our firm stance against drug dealing across the district.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie MC expressed his ‘anger and disgust’ at a security alert in Lurgan

He said: “If this is another hoax, it is incredibly frustrating to see significant time and PSNI resources wasted and a community inconvenienced by this wreckless act carried out by cowards whose actions have no place within the community.”

Workers Party representative Kieran McCausland said the day long search for drugs should ‘be a wake up call for anyone in the community who thinks we don’t have a problem in this area’,

“Tory Party leadership contenders may brush it off as a bit of recreational fun for posh boys, but drugs ruin lives, they ruin families, they wreck communities and they kill.
“Criminal gangs in the Lurgan area are poisoning, addicting and potentially killing young people while they line their pockets and walk away from the consequences. That is the stark and unforgiving reality we are faced with.”
“The inconvenience caused by recent searches for drugs is a very small price to pay if they are taken off the streets and if their discovery leads to arrests and prosecutions.

“We all have a a role to play in making this area safer and drug free. Anyone with any information about illegal drugs should contact the PSNl.”