The Ulster Unionist Party’s candidate for the Slieve Croob area, Alan Lewis, has condemned those behind the mortar launching tube discovered outside Castlewellan on Monday.
Alan Lewis said:
“This discovery is a clear and stark reminder that there are very dangerous individuals still intent on causing destruction, death and mayhem. Just recently myself and colleagues met with senior PSNI district commanders who advised that the threat from dissident republicans remains real and present, we must all be cautious to the ever-present threat of violent terrorist elements.
“I would like to praise the quick and efficient response of local police and the army bomb disposal team and I also commend the actions of the local resident who spotted the device and alerted emergency services to foil what would undoubtedly have been a cowardly attack on a police patrol.
“A number of questions arise from this discovery. Where is the rest of this device? Where is the explosive element? Was it primed? Where was it constructed?
“Local residents have undoubtedly been inconvenienced and disrupted from their daily routine, the local community should be allowed to go about their lives without the fear or threat of violence.
“Those who discarded the components and device are simply reckless mindless idiots with no regard for public safety, and in 2019 we should be far beyond such activity, where people expect to live in peace without fear of harm.”