LISTEN: First and Deputy First Ministers condemn 'New IRA' fireball bomb

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By Q Radio News & PA

Northern Ireland’s First and Deputy First Ministers have condemned those responsible for planting an explosive device beside a policewoman's car.near where her three-year-old daughter sits. 

Michelle O’Neill has described the bomb attack as “absolutely deplorable, unacceptable, unjustified and completely wrong”.

Speaking to media at Stormont, Ms O’Neill said people must “stand together to condemn it”.

“I have spoken with the chief constable, I have also spoken with the officer herself to offer my support and solidarity at this difficult time,” she said.

“I think it is fair to say in speaking to her that there is still a fair degree of shock. It is only sinking in, the magnitude of what could have happened to both herself and her young family, and that is totally unacceptable and we have to call it out. It is wrong.

“That was the message I wanted to give to the chief constable, but also to those people that are responsible, they need to leave the stage, there is no room for you in society, you are not going to drag people back. What we need to see today is strong condemnation from everybody which, I believe, is the case.

“My thoughts are very much with the female officer who is still dealing with the shock and the magnitude of what could have happened to her and her young family.”

First Minister Arlene Foster has also condemned the murder bid. 

''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,” she said.

“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.”

Police have blamed the New IRA for planting a bomb at a police officer’s car beside where her three-year-old daughter sits.

The device left at the part-time female officer’s home near Dungiven, Co Londonderry. was attached to a container of flammable liquid.

Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan branded the murder bid by the dissident extremists as “despicable and cowardly”.

The device, which did not detonate, was designed to create a fireball, Mr McEwan said.

He said the child’s seat was in the car and the terror group would have been aware of it.

“We will be unrelenting in our efforts in bringing these people to justice,” said the senior officer.

“We believe this group would have known this is where the daughter would sit and they have shown no regard for this whatsoever.

“They know the effect if this device donated, it would have engulfed the car completely and those in it.

“It’s time for people to examine their conscience. Is this the sort of group they want to support? A group that has shown complete disregard for young people and now we have another callous attack where a mother and a toddler were the potential victims.”

The woman targeted is a member of PSNI civilian staff who also serves as a part-time officer.

 

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