ANCORA GRAVI LE CONDIZIONI DEL POLIZIOTTO VITTIMA DELL’ATTENTATO
Permangono gravi ma stabili le condizioni di Peadar Heffron
Peadar Heffron, 33 anni, è l’agente della PSNI rimasto gravemente ferito dalla bomba esplosa sotto la sua Alfa Romeo blu alle 6.30 del mattino dello scorso venerdì. Il poliziotto, di lingua irlandese e giocatore dei GAA per la squadra della PSNI, si stava recando al lavoro a West Belfast quando l’ordigno è brillato in Milltown Road a Randalstown, non molto distante dalla base armata di Massereene teatro del sanguinoso attentato del 7 marzo 2009.
La polizia, che ha attribuito la responsabilità dell’attentato ai dissidenti repubblicani, persiste nell’invitare la comunità a fornire il proprio contributo alle indagini.
Martin Totten, cugino della vittima, ha dichiarato: “Questo è terribile. Spero solo che non si stia scivolando indietro ai giorni bui del passato. Tutti pensavano che questo alle nostre spalle.”
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Bomb attack policeman still critically ill (U TV News)
A Catholic police officer remained in a critical but stable condition in hospital on Saturday after being injured by a booby trap bomb in Co Antrim which has been blamed on dissident republicans.
Peadar Heffron, 33, had just left his home outside Randalstown, Co Antrim, to start work in west Belfast when the device exploded under his blue Alfa Romeo car on Friday.
Pc Heffron, who spoke Irish and was captain of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s gaelic football team, got married last year.
The PSNI again appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
“Police are continuing to investigate this incident and would appeal for members of the public to come forward with any information that they have,” a spokeswoman said.
Pc Heffron’s cousin, Martin Totten, who met him with his new wife, Fiona, while shopping in a Tesco supermarket in Antrim just days ago, said on Friday night: “This is terrifying. I just hope we’re not slipping back into the dark old days. Everybody thought this was all behind us.”
Shocked neighbours rushed to help the injured officer, whose car careered sideways on the slippery Milltown Road at around 6.30am, half a mile from where he lived.
He was taken to hospital for emergency treatment before being transferred to the Royal Victoria in Belfast, where he remains in a critical condition.
Up to a dozen police cars escorted the ambulance as it drove along the M2 motorway into the city.
The explosion happened two miles from the Massereene Army barracks, where two soldiers just about to leave for Afghanistan were shot dead by the Real IRA last March.
Sappers Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, were gunned down as they collected a pizza delivery outside the gates of the base.
First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, as well as other politicians and church leaders on all sides, condemned the bombing.
It is the latest in a series of attacks by dissidents and virtually identical to one close to the PSNI headquarters in Belfast where an officer’s girlfriend narrowly escaped death last October.
Last year Pc Heffron, who has served with the police for nine years, was among officers who attended the first meeting where discussions in Londonderry between Policing Board officials and members of the public were conducted in the Irish language.
He also played a key role in establishing the PSNI’s gaelic football team and was this season’s captain.
He once played for Kickhams Creggan, a GAA club based in Randalstown, where Mr Totten, the club secretary, spoke of his shock at the attack on a close relative.
He said: “I really thought we were past this. I thought, with the Good Friday Agreement and all the political progress, that these sort of actions had ended and that policing was no longer considered by the Catholic fraternity as a problem area. Catholic members of the police service should be accepted.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Derek Williamson, who is heading the police investigation, urged people in the area to come forward if they noticed anything suspicious. He branded the attackers “faceless cowardly thugs”.
He added: “They skulked under the cover of darkness to try and kill or injure this officer.”