PSNI reconstructs ‘reckless’ car bomb explosion in Derry

Police say those responsible for last week’s attack showed ‘no regard for local people’

CCTV shows the moment a car bomb explodes near the Derry City courthouse. Saoradh, a group describing itself as a revolutionary Irish Republican Party said dissident republicans were behind the explosion. Video: PSNI / Reuters

 

Detectives have carried out a reconstruction of last Saturday’s car bomb explosion in Derry.

A week on from the New IRA bombing outside the courthouse in the city, officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) terrorism investigation unit also handed out leaflets and spoke to people in the area in a bid to jog their memories.

It comes a day after people attended a peace rally in Derry following days of security alerts linked to paramilitary groups.

More than one hundred people took part in the event which was held in solidarity with contractors who had been threatened or had their vehicles hijacked in the days following the car bombing.

Det Chief Insp Stuart Griffin said: “Last Saturday night at around 8.10pm, Derry was packed with local families and tourists, socialising and enjoying the best of what the city has to offer when a bomb detonated outside the courthouse.

“This unbelievably reckless attack left children and adults in fear of their lives and caused widespread disruption to many people in the local area.

“It is only out of sheer luck nobody was killed or maimed.

“Tonight at the exact same times that the terrorist parked the car, detonated the bomb and ran away from the scene, we carried out a reconstruction, handed out leaflets and spoke to many people in the area in a bid to jog people’s memories.”

He said there has been widespread condemnation of the attack.

Earlier this week, detectives recovered a suspected handgun in the Iona Court area, which police believe was in the possession of one of the suspects.

Insp Griffin added: “The people responsible for this attack have shown no regard for local people and businesses and today, I would like to make a number of appeals and ask the community for their help.

“I would like to hear from anyone who was in the areas of Quarry Street, Lecky Road, Barrack Street, Bishop Street, Nailors Row and Long Tower Court, last Saturday night between 6pm and 9pm, who may have seen either the vehicle or the terrorists, including the man who abandoned the car and ran away from the scene.

“Did you see a grey coloured Ford Fusion, WCZ 2167, which was hijacked in Quarry Street and driven to Bishop Street via Barrack Street?

“Did you witness anything unusual or see any other vehicles in the area at that time? Do you have any dashcam footage?

“Were there any people in the area that you feel may be important to this inquiry?

“Is there anything else you can tell Police that would help our investigation?

“I believe the explosion was carried out by the New IRA.”

A number of young teenagers walked past the bomb moments before it exploded which the PSNI say was a “clear demonstration” that the bombers “do not care about the safety of those living in this community”.

“They don’t give a second thought to who they harm or the disruption they cause to local people and businesses,” he added.

“I would also appeal to anyone who has any information about this incident to get in touch with police on the non-emergency number 101.”–PA