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Witness appeal as police hunt gunman who threatened railway line workers in Lurgan

Political representatives condemn those who threatened line workers and made bomb warning

PSNI railway

Police have appealed for witnesses after threats were made to workers at the railway line in Lurgan on Saturday morning.

Police in Lurgan have confirmed they are investigating a report..

Chief Inspector Barney O’Connor said: “We understand that at around 11.10am this morning a number of individuals carrying out work on the railway line at Lake Street were approached by a male who was allegedly armed with a firearm.

“This male threatened the workers before making off.

“We are currently working with Translink and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed what happened this morning or who has any information that could assist police to please call 101, quoting reference 480 02/03/19.”

The incident has been condemned by local political representatives.

It is understood that a bomb threat was also phoned in as the contractors carried out work on a planned £25million upgrade of the line in the Co Armagh town.

Sinn Féin councillor Keith Haughian condemned the threatening of the railway workers.

He explained: “The rail workers were carrying out an upgrade to the main Belfast to Dublin rail line in North Lurgan when they were approached by masked men one of whom may have been armed.

“The workers were told to down tools and leave the area. A bomb warning was also made.

“Those responsible for these actions need to explain what they are about.

“The company doing the work to the lines have agreed to carry out significant work to a local GAA club free of charge and this is how these people repay the firms workers.”

Concluding councillor Haughian said: “It is long past time these individuals wised up and got off the backs of the people of North Lurgan.”

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly added: “I am sure the whole community will join with me in condemning the threats made to railway workers this morning in Lurgan.

“Those responsible must remove this threat immediately to allow the £25m investment works to proceed.”

Upper Bann DUP MLA Carla Lockhart also condemned thode responsible and blamed “republican terrorists”.

She said: “Once again we have republicans who are not representative of the people of Lurgan. Everyone will be aware that the railway line is closed for upgrade with £11.9 million investment yet we have despicable individuals who today approached the workers on the track and threatened them with a firearm.

“These people are not representative.  The PSNI is dealing with the situation appropriately. I am liaising with them.

“The railway will remain closed for the duration of the weekend as previously arranged.  Anyone with any information please come forward to the PSNI.

“The people of the area will not allow this small nucleus of people to drag Lurgan back to the dark days.”

The incident follows on from a spate of hoax bomb alerts in Portadown on Friday, however, they are not being linked at this stage.

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