An off-duty officer has been shot a number of times as he sat in his car at traffic lights on Circular Road in Dungannon at about 5.30pm. The officer was able to drive to Dungannon Police Station. He has been taken to Craigavon Area Hospital where he is said to be in a stable condition.
The attack comes hard on the heels of last week’s shooting of an off-duty police officer in Bishop Street, Derry. To-day, that attack was claimed by the Real Irish Republican Army, a dissident group that was behind the 1998 Omagh bomb which claimed 29 lives.
Few people will welcome this upsurge in Real IRA activity.
Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister, said:
“These people are attempting to plunge our society back into conflict.”
Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward called the attack as ” despicable and cowardly” and said:-
“I am confident that the vast majority of people here will ensure that this does not happen.”
I’m sure the vast majority of people agree with that sentiment. The last thing we need is another attempted murder.
What is important at this time is to remember that only a VERY small number of very misguided individuals are involved in this organisation. Thankfully they do not enjoy any degree of support. If we all stay calm then the culprits will be found and isolated. Once that is done we can get on with our journey to peace.
The community’s thoughts are with the injured officer and his family. May he make a speedy and full recovery.