Pipe bomb explodes at GAA ground

Preston and Leyland Citizen: The PSNI is investigating an explosion of what is thought to be a pipe bomb  at a GAA ground in Ahoghill, Co Antrim The PSNI is investigating an explosion of what is thought to be a pipe bomb at a GAA ground in Ahoghill, Co Antrim

A crudely assembled bomb has exploded at a GAA ground in Northern Ireland but caused only minor damage, police said.

A window was broken and an outside wall scorched at the Cloney Gaels premises in Ahoghill in Co Antrim. The suspected pipe bomb was removed for further examination.

Ballymena Borough SDLP councillor Declan O'Loan said a pipe, two batteries and timers were found by a member of the club this morning after a neighbour heard up to three bangs.

Mr O'Loan said: "This was a real bomb which damaged the building and could have caused serious injury or death to anyone handling it.

"I have no doubt that it was a deliberate attack on a GAA club from a loyalist source."

It exploded at the Acorn community centre housing the Cloney Rural Development Association within the club grounds.

Mr O'Loan added: "Those who made and placed this bomb are deeply misguided. The GAA plays a proud and valued part in community life.

"It merits gratitude and support and not attack. Such an attack causes fear and apprehension and works against everything positive which I and others are working for locally."

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokeswoman said: "We are attending a security alert on the Crosskeys Road in relation to a suspicious object."

She added: "It is a crude bomb-type device. It caused scorch damage to the outside wall of the building and also a broken window. It has been taken away for examination."

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