| 8.4°C Dublin

shock ordeal PSNI officer targeted in bomb bid forced to flee home with child (3) 

The PSNI civilian worker, who was working as a community officer for 12 hours a week, had a firebomb-style device left at the rear of her car.

Close

Investigation: Police at the scene near Dungiven

Investigation: Police at the scene near Dungiven

Investigation: Police at the scene near Dungiven

A part-time police officer targeted in a dissident republican bomb attack has been forced to permanently leave her home along with her three-year-old child.

The PSNI civilian worker, who was working as a community officer for 12 hours a week, had a firebomb-style device left at the rear of her car.

Police have blamed the New IRA for the murder bid.

The woman found the device in a bag as she was leaving to go to work on Monday.

The area around the house, around two miles from Dungiven, remains closed off for forensic examination.

The young woman and her family have lived in the area for years and are well-known locally.

But she and her child have been forced to leave their home after she was advised that, despite local support, it is no longer safe to live in the area.

Detectives say had the bomb detonated it would have engulfed anyone nearby in a "fireball".

Sources say she and her child will not be returning following the incident, which has shocked the tight-knit rural community.

The officer was part of a scheme aimed at encouraging more women from the nationalist community to consider a career in policing.

Part-time officers can only work a maximum of 122 hours a year in uniform in a community or supportive role.

Given her low profile community posting, sources said the woman did not believe she was under any threat from dissidents.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan branded the murder bid as "despicable and cowardly".

Close

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan described the incident as ‘cowardly’ (Rebecca Black/PA)

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan described the incident as ‘cowardly’ (Rebecca Black/PA)

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan described the incident as ‘cowardly’ (Rebecca Black/PA)

He added: Whilst the investigation is at an early stage, a strong line of inquiry is that this attack is the work of the New IRA.

"This was an explosive device designed to create a fireball.

"That fireball would have engulfed the car, anyone in it and in the proximity."

First Minister Arlene Foster said yesterday dissident republican groups were currently attempting to attract new members in the north west and in her own Fermanagh-South Tyrone constituency.

"I do want to absolutely condemn the actions of these people," the DUP leader told the BBC.

"My local representatives in that area, and unfortunately in my own area, have watched as dissident republicans are seemingly trying to recruit at present.

"I say to all young people who may get caught up in the midst of this: think what could have happened to that young woman and her very young child and think of the consequences of that."

Following a meeting of the Policing Board's resources committee, Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly said members "wished to record their abhorrence at the attack on this mother and her family, and welcome the strong messages of support and condemnation voiced across the community and from all political parties".

He added the committee meeting had "focused on the new PSNI People Strategy and plans to move forward with a range of recruitment competitions for officers and staff".


Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Belfast Telegraph


Privacy