Dissident republicans claim attack on border police station

Impartial Reporter
9 Dec 2004

The Real IRA has claimed responsibility for a gun attack on Belleek
PSNI station on Saturday evening. The dissident republican group made
the claim in a call to the Derry Journal newsroom on Monday, police

Shots were heard near the police station at around 6.30pm and shortly
afterwards a car was found burning on the nearby border crossing at
Cliff Road.
Firefighters from Ballyshannon were called to the scene but the car
was gutted by the blaze, which is believed by police to have been
deliberately set. The station was unmanned at the time.

On Monday, police carried out a search operation of the area close to
the station and discovered a number of strike marks on the exterior
wall and the Sanger.

Chief Inspector John Maxwell said a number of casings were found
during the follow-up searches and are being examined by forensic
"Shortly after six, a car drove up and fired a number of rounds from
an automatic weapon at the police station, which fortunately was
unmanned at the time," he said.

"They drove up the road and abandoned the car at the border. It was
extensively burnt out, we believe on purpose.

"In an area that has civilians around it, at 6pm on a Saturday
evening, to fire shots at a police station is a totally reckless act
and does nothing for the local community," he said.

"What the rationale behind this is I do not know, but there have been
isolated incidents since the ceasefires.

"The police are there trying to help the community and this is the
negative reaction from a small minority of terrorists."

The burnt-out car is believed to have been a white Vauxhall Astra.
Detectives are keen to hear from anyone who saw the vehicle before
the incident or when it was making its getaway.

Police are also linking the incident to a "rather mixed-up" call made
to a Belfast newsroom on Sunday, the day after the attack.

The caller, who had a Fermanagh accent and claimed to represent
Oglaigh na hEireann, said there was going to be a gun attack on
Belleek police station using an assault rifle.

SDLP MLA Tommy Gallagher condemned the attack and pointed out that
there were no police officers in the station at the time.

He said: "There was a number of people in the area who heard the
gunfire on Saturday night. It seems to have been directed at the
barracks but fortunately there were no injuries or anything of that

"If there's any support for this kind of action any more it's from a
very small number of people.

"The vast majority of people have invested their desires and hopes in
the political process and some day that will turn out to be the right
path for all of us."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at Enniskillen at
028 6632 2823, or the confidential Crimestoppers number at freephone
0800 555111.

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