Taoiseach joins condemnation of 'New IRA' bomb targeting PSNI officer and child

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By Q Radio News & PA

Irish premier Micheal Martin has condemned those responsible for planting the explosive device at the officer’s car.

It comes as police blame the New IRA for placing the device underneath where the target's three-year-old daughter sits.

They warned the bomb was attached to a container of flammable liquid and would have created a fireball outside the part-time female officer’s home near Dungiven, Co Londonderry.

The Taoiseach tweeted: “Deeply reprehensible and cowardly attack on the home of a police officer in Northern Ireland last night.

“Politicians across this island must work together to avoid a return to the dark days of fear and terror.”

Meanwhile Chief Constable Simon Byrne tweeted: “I strongly condemn this outrageous attack on our officer and her family.

“Every day @PoliceServiceNI officers and staff bravely step up to serve the community and this attempt to harm is a stark reminder of the challenges still facing us all.”

Mark Lindsay, chair of the police representative body, the Police Federation, said it is “appalling the officer was singled out in this manner”.

“Her dedication to serving the community is in stark contrast to those involved in this attack, whose only purpose is to wreck lives,” he said.

“There are people in this community who know who planned this attack and placed this potentially lethal device under an officer’s car. They must realise there is nothing to be gained by such attacks and I would call on them to give the police the information they need to capture the culprits.”

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I stand, as does my entire party, with the brave woman targeted by republicans and utterly condemn those who have sought to harm her and her family.

“I do give thanks that she has survived this dreadful murder attempt and when I spoke to this lady earlier, I gave her my prayerful support and indeed solidarity at this difficult time.

“To the republicans who sought to murder this young mother, your campaign is futile, you will never succeed and whilst there may always be different political views in Northern Ireland, we will keep moving forward and we will not be dragged back by bombers or those who would seek to use the gun to get their own political way.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill added: “The attempted murder of a police officer near Dungiven is reprehensible.

“Those involved in this attack will not succeed in their regressive and toxic agenda.

“All politicians must unite against these reckless actions. We must keep building the peace for our children.”

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis said: “The attempted murder of this police officer is absolutely abhorrent.

“I completely condemn the actions of those involved. Those who try to attack public servants have nothing to offer the communities they claim to represent.

“I want to convey my support for the officer concerned.”

Meanwhile Stormont's Justice Minister Naomi Long condemned those responsible for planting the explosive device at the officer’s car.

“First and foremost, my thoughts are with the officer, her family and her colleagues,” she said.

“This was a despicable and cowardly act against the mother of a three-year-old child which could have had devastating consequences for both her and her daughter.

“It was an attack on an officer who serves the entire community, an attack on someone who works to make this a safer place for all of us.

“To deliberately target someone in this way is not only callous, it is completely reckless. When a device explodes, it does not discriminate. It does not pick and choose who it injures or who it kills.

“The people who sneaked around in the dark to plant this device have shown an utter disregard for human life, not only for this officer but for others living in the area or who may have been passing by.

“The people behind this have nothing to offer anyone living here. Their actions go against the democratic principles that the vast majority of people in this society support.

“Those who set out to kill and maim must be brought to justice and I would urge anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it might seem, to contact PSNI or Crimestoppers.”

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