Pipe bomb discovered at local photographer’s home
The explosive device was left outside the Mayobridge home of press photographer Mark Pearce.
His family were woken by police shortly after midnight on Friday at their home in Carraig Crosain. The PSNI helped to evacuate six homes in their street.
Local politicians have expressed their horror at the news.
SDLP MLA Sean Rogers condemned those responsible. “I want to condemn this reprehensible and cowardly attack on an innocent man in his family home”, Rogers told Nerwry Times.
“Thankfully the police were able to move Mr Pearce and his family from their home while the pipe bomb was defused This must have been a terrifying ordeal for the Pearce family and my thoughts and prayers are with them.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Pearce at Stormont this week when he photographed an event on the importance of thorough eye testing for young children. He is an excellent professional who photographs a wide variety of news stories in Northern Ireland, some difficult and others highlighting the more positive aspects of our society.
“This deplorable attack was an attack not just on the Pearce family but on the wider community. Many people were moved from neighbouring properties in Mayobridge late last night which must have been deeply distressing.
“Those responsible for this attack show no respect whatsoever for human life and are totally reckless as to the hurt and distress they have caused to the family. Our community stands united against those people who seek to drag our society back to the past.”
He added, “I would urge anyone with information regarding this attack to contact the PSNI or Crime Stoppers.”
South Down MLA Margaret Ritchie echoed Roger’s sentiments. She said: ““Those who left this pipe bomb at a house in Mayobridge late last night were intent on causing serious injury to those who resided there. Thankfully nobody was injured as the pipe bomb was defused.
“Disruption was caused to that family and to local residents who returned to their properties earlier this morning. The thoughts and prayers of the entire community are with the family.
“The message is clear to those who perpetrate these despicable acts – get off our backs and let us live in peace and harmony. Anyone with information regarding this heinous crime should give it to the police so that those responsible can be brought to justice.”
Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke also condemned the attack and urged any witnesses to contact the PSNI. Clarke said: “I utterly condemn whoever is responsible for this pipe bomb. There can never be any justification for any such attack on a person’s home.
“Freedom of the press is paramount in any democratic society and they should be able to report the news without any fear or intimidation. There should never be any attempt to silence the press through the use of violence. I would like to extend my support to Mark and his family.
“If anybody has any information about this pipe bomb then I would urge them to contact the police. The people responsible must be brought to justice before the courts.”
Local Councillor Sean O’Hare also added: “I deplore this despicable and terrifying attack on a family in their home. The community will not tolerate the behaviour of a minority who want to drag us back to the dark days of the past. My thoughts are with the Pearce family at this time.”