PIANIFICATO DA MESI L’ATTENTATO CONTRO L’AGENTE DELLA PSNI
I dissidenti sulle tracce di Peadar Heffron, già da settimane se non da mesi
La polizia è convinta che i dissidenti stessero pianifcando l’attentato avvenuto lo scorso venerdì a Randalstown già da settimane, se non addirittura da mesi attraverso attività di spionaggio e reperimento informazioni anche dalla gente comune che probabilmente non era consapevole di fornire aiuto ai responsabili del ferimento di Peadar Heffron.
L’agente della PSNI versa tutt’ora in gravi condizioni.
Matt Baggott, Chief Constable della PSNI, ha voluto proprio in queste ore tributare il primo omaggio a colui che definisce ‘eroe dei nostri giorni’.
“E’ un eroe dei giorni moderni, lui è uno che è uscito fuori, è qualcuno che sta facendo le cose giuste per tutti”, ed ha aggiunto: “Quale ufficiale fantastico è e che uomo di grande coraggio, un uomo che sta facendo le cose giuste per la comunità, salvando la vita delle persone e aiutando la gente giorno dopo giorno. Voglio tributargli oggi omaggio, mentre giace gravemente ferito in ospedale, a causa di questo attacco aberrante”.
Baggott sostiene che la comunità vuole che gli agenti siano parte della loro vita, e Heffron ne è un esempio: “Se questo significa essere coinvolti con la Gaelic Athletic Association, aiutando le persone ad avere una conversazione con noi usando la lingua irlandese, rispettando le persone in ogni cammino della loro vita e di ogni comunità – questo è esattamente quello che il Police Service e funzionari di polizia. dovrebbero essere”.
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Bombers ‘spied on officer for some time’ (Belfast Telegraph)
Critically injured PSNI Constable Peadar Heffron was spied on for weeks, or even months, by dissident republicans before they attempted to murder him with an under-car, booby-trap bomb, police believe.
The 33-year-old, who is captain of the PSNI’s GAA team, is still fighting for his life in hospital after the device exploded as he drove from his home in Randalstown to work in west Belfast last Friday morning.
Police sources have said detectives believe it was a well-organised attack. One source said: “We believe they would have been watching him closely for several weeks, if not months, to get to know his routine.
“People in the area may have unwittingly passed by them so it is important people come forward with any information they may have, even if they did not think it was important at the time.”
As dissident republicans attempt to take advantage of the deepening political instability at the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alliance leader David Ford yesterday said the Robinson saga shouldn’t turn people’s attention away from the security situation.
“The key way in which as an Assembly we can act against the dissidents is by showing that politics works, showing that we can deliver for our people, by demonstrating good governance. Petty squabbles and childish stand-offs do nothing to advance the needs of this community,” he said.
“Peadar Heffron is exactly the sort of officer this society needs. He joined the Police Service of Northern Ireland in its early days, well before it was easy for someone of his background.”
Injured police officer ‘a hero’ (U TV)
The PSNI Chief Constable has branded the officer critically injured in a dissident republican bomb blast in County Antrim a “modern-day hero”.
Peadar Heffron, 33, remains in a critical condition in hospital after a device exploded under his blue Alfa Romeo car outside Randalstown on Friday.
Chief Constable Matt Baggott paid tribute to Constable Heffron, the Irish-speaking captain of the PSNI’s gaelic football team, and his involvement in the local community.
“He is a modern-day hero, he is someone who has stepped out, someone who is doing the right things for everybody,” he said.
“What a fantastic officer he is and what a great man of courage, man who is doing all the right things in the community, saving people’s lives and helping people day in day out.
“I want to pay him that tribute today as he lies seriously injured in hospital as a result of this abhorrent attack.”
Mr Baggott said the community wanted their police officers to be part of their life. “If that means becoming involved with the Gaelic Athletic Association, helping people to have a conversation with us using the Irish language, respecting people in every walk of life and every community – then that’s exactly what the Police Service and police officers should be about,” he said.
Constable Heffron, who got married six months ago, had just left home to start work in west Belfast when the car bomb went off.
Police have launched a fresh appeal for information about the attack. “Detectives want to hear from anyone who was in the Milltown Road area over the past few weeks in the evening or in the early hours of the morning, perhaps jogging or walking dogs,” a police spokesman said.
“If they noticed any suspicious activity, particularly in relation to vehicles, then police want to hear from them.”
The chief constable said he was confident the attack would not dissuade other recruits from a nationalist background from joining the service. He said the dissidents remain a small but dangerous group.
“We’ve always said the situation is severe,” he said at police headquarters in Belfast. “We have the resources to deal with it but what we need is more information all the time from the public and more support and more encouragement.”
Shocked neighbours rushed to help the injured officer, whose car careered sideways on the slippery Milltown Road at around 6.30am on Friday, half a mile from where he lived.
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. Detective Chief Superintendent Derek Williamson, who is heading the police investigation, urged people in the area to come forward if they noticed anything suspicious.