A controlled explosion was carried out on a suspicious object found in the Ashgrove Road area of Newry. Police believe the item was a 'viable device'. The incident happened yesterday, Saturday, and residents were evacuated from their homes with Newry, Mourne and Down Council making the Leisure Centre available for them, until they were allowed to return to their homes late last night.

The incident has been condemned by local political representatives and Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

The PSNI were alerted to a report of a suspicious object in the area at around 3:30pm yesterday and they and Army Technical Officers attended the scene with ATO carrying out a controlled explosion yesterday evening.

Army Technical Officers carrie out a controlled explosion on the Ashgrove Road device. (File photo) Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
Army Technical Officers carrie out a controlled explosion on the Ashgrove Road device. (File photo) Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

Newry, Mourne & Down District Commander, Superintendent Norman Haslett in a statement released today said: "As part of our public safety operation, a number of homes were evacuated. Some of the residents affected made use of the local leisure centre, as facilitated by the local Council. As of this time, most of the families have returned home and any roads closed have reopened. 

"Our enquiries are continuing and we are working to establish who is responsible for what can only be described as a reckless act. This device could easily have detonated, or have been picked up by anyone, including children. Someone could have suffered serious injury.

"As we continue with our investigation, I want to thank everyone inconvenienced by the alert. In particular, I want to thank the 15 families who had to leave their homes as we worked to make the scene safe." 

Justin McNulty MLA last night said “Residents in the Ashgrove Road area, the elderly and young families have been forced from their homes this evening into the wind and the rain as police and army deal with a viable device. 

“Those responsible for this device don’t care about people in our community, People living here don’t want this, they don’t want to return to the murder, mayhem and tragedy of the past. This kind of reckless activity has no place in Newry or anywhere. 

 “I would appeal to anyone with information to come forward to police. We cannot let mindless thugs dominate our communities. This is a time for us all to come together again and reject those intent on violence."

MLA Liz Kimmins condemning those responsible said "Those responsible for this device have nothing to offer and this is an attack on the entire community at a time when we should all be working together in the face of the public health crisis caused by COVID."

Cllr Gavin Malone thanked the Council staff for their professionalism and kindness "Our council and the statuary agencies have moved swiftly and decisively to make sure everyone is safe and well."

If you can help the police investigation you can call 101 and quote reference number 1114 of 20/02/21.

A report can also be submitted via WWW.PSNI.POLICE.UK or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Pin It



Please consider supporting


FOLLOW NEWRY.IE require Cookies on some parts of our site to enable full functionality. By using you consent to our use of Cookies. You can use your browser settings to disable cookies on this or any other website.