Folow us on social media

Sign up to our mailing list

‘Improvised weapon’ found in grounds of Holy Cross Boys PS

The device was found by Holy Cross Boys Primary School Principal Kevin McArevey
The device was found by Holy Cross Boys Primary School Principal Kevin McArevey
By Conor McParland

POLICE have discovered an ‘improvised weapon’ during a security alert on Monday afternoon at Holy Cross Boys’ Primary School in North Belfast.
The device was found by Principal Kevin McArevey and a caretaker in a plastic package under a man-hole cover in the grounds of the school.
The school is closed today (Tuesday).
Police have blamed dissident republicans and say the weapon was meant to kill police officers.
Chief Superintendent Jonathan Roberts said: “At around 2.30pm, police attended the report of a suspicious object found in the grounds of Holy Cross Boys Primary School.
“ATO examined the object and police have recovered what we assess to be an improvised weapon which has the potential to fire a high calibre round.

“This weapon is most likely to have been left in the area by dissident republican terrorists and was destined to be used in an attempt to kill or seriously injure police officers serving and protecting the local community in North Belfast.
“The fact that it was left in the grounds of a local primary school shows that those responsible have callous disregard for local children and members of the local community.

“The security operation in the area is continuing to allow for a careful examination of the scene in order to keep people safe.
“I would like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding while the operation continues.
“I understand that this has caused disruption to the children attending the school, to their parents, to the school staff and the wider community but I hope they will understand and accept that this is necessary that we are absolutely satisfied there is no ongoing risk to the children in the immediate area.
“This is an act of utmost recklessness and a highly stupid act. Those responsible do not represent any kind of cause; they do not represent any section of the community. They have endangered the lives of children.
“The weapon was left in the immediate area where the youngest children who attend school would be playing during the course of the school day.”

Local Sinn Féin councillor Ryan Murphy said those responsible endangered the local community.
“The discovery of a device at Holy Cross Boys’ School has shocked local people,” he said.
“Those responsible for leaving this dangerous device inside the grounds of the school put the lives of pupils and staff as well as the whole local community at risk.
“This could have caused serious injury or worse to anyone.
“Those responsible have once again shown their complete and total disregard for the lives of children and our local community.
“They have nothing to offer the community and need to disband and call an end to these reckless and futile actions immediately.”
Alliance Councillor Nuala McAllister has said those behind the incident are “utterly despicable”.
“Let’s be honest, those behind this weapon left it in a school playground, putting the lives of young children at severe risk,” she said.
“We have seen a number of similar incidents lately, designed to attack PSNI officers. These dissidents need to leave the stage immediately and utterly. They represent no-one, offer nothing and have no major support in the local community.
“No doubt this will be distressing for many parents, who will have to attempt to explain to their children why their school is closed. My thanks go to the staff at Holy Cross Boys’ for their quick actions.
“If anyone has any information on this incident, I urge them to take it to police immediately.”
Police are appealing for anyone with information who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area recently to contact detectives on 101 quoting reference 1169 23/09/19.

Please follow and like us: