'Substantial' Bomb Found In Derry

The North's police have described a device found outside the courthouse in Londonderry as 'substantial' and 'viable.'

The bomb was found in a vehicle abandoned outside Bishop Street courthouse after several controlled explosions were carried out.

Elderly residents from a local fold and choirboys, some as young as seven, in the nearby St Columb's Cathedral were evacuated following a telephone bomb warning on Sunday evening.

The area surrounding the courthouse remains cordoned off and Bishop Street is also closed to traffic.

District Commander, Stephen Martin, said had it exploded, it could have caused death or serious injury.

Martin commented: "A device this size would have caused considerable devastation. It's two years since the threat in Northern Ireland has been escalated to severe and acts like this are a strong possibility. They can come at any time without warning."

The threat has been strongly condemned by local politicians.

Sinn Fein MLA, Martina Anderson, commented: "We are all of the view that an attack on any place in this city is an attack on us all."

SDLP representative Pat Ramsey said the residents who had to leave Alexander House, were "distressed, angry and frustrated" at what had happened.

The DUP's William Hay echoed the District Commander’s comments about the devastation the bomb could have wrought.

"There's no doubt about it, where it was placed it was to cause maximum damage to property and lives."

The UUP Councillor, Mary Hamilton, also condemned the bomb, saying: "We are trying to move on and look towards a city of culture and this is certainly not helping."

The security alert is ongoing, with traffic being diverted away from the Bishop Street area.

Court hearings on Monday have been moved to other courts.


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