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Leisure centre opened for evacuated residents as Portadown security alert continues

Police checkpoint night

Cascades Leisure Centre has been opened to residents affected by the security alert in Portadown this evening (Sunday).

The operation has been centred around the George, South and Hanover streets in the town since early this afternoon.

Residents in the vicinity have been evacuated and the area put into shutdown with Council opening up the leisure facility for those who wish to seek shelter this evening.

Armagh I understand the emergency operation, following the discovery of what is being described as a “suspicious object” will continue for a number of hours yet – and possibly into the early hours of tomorrow morning.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “We are currently dealing with a suspect device in the Hanover Street and South Street area of Portadown.

“As a result the area has been evacuated and closed to all traffic and pedestrians.

“With the support of our military colleagues we hope to have this resolved safely for everyone.

“Please be patient whilst this work is completed and we apologise for the inconvenience caused during the operation.”

Ulster Unionist councillor Julie Flaherty is urging people to be patient and let police do their job.

“Their priority is to keep everyone safe and back into their homes as soon as possible,” she said.

This is the second serious alert in north Armagh today, following an earlier incident in the Cornakinnegar Road area of Lurgan.

Police had been examining the old St Michael’s School site, however that alert has since ended.

It also follows on from the discovery of an explosive device attached to a lorry in Silverwood Instustrial Park on Monday.

Police linked that device to the Continuity IRA in what was understood to have been a plot to detonate the device onboard a ferry to Scotland.

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