N54 expected to remain closed overnight as Police continue to investigate Wattlebridge security alert

The N54 is expected to remain closed overnight as Police work to find those responsible for the security alert at Wattlebridge.
Search operations are ongoing in the Newtownbutler area of Fermanagh today following reports of an explosive device being left there last week.
The security alert was first reported on Wednesday night, with the Continuity IRA later claiming that the following day they shot at a police helicopter.

However the PSNI has now said it did not deploy a helicopter to the area.

Local Commander, Chief Superintendent Andy Freeburn has said a Police aeroplane had been deployed and after enquiries it’s now emerged a private helicopter was flying in the area at the time.

He has said that if there’s any truth to the claims from the CIRA then the PSNI believes this is the helicopter that was shot at.

The Chief Superintendent says “absolute disregard” has been shown for the lives of ordinary people and that Police were the intended targets makes it “no less heinous”.

He added that the public can show contempt for such senseless attacks by standing together and working in partnership to find those responsible.
The Cavan to Clones road is expected to remain closed until tomorrow evening to allow Police and Gardaí carry out their investigations.
It was expected Gardaí would review the road closure this evening but it’s now been confirmed it will remain closed until tomorrow evening.

They’ve appealed to people to use alternative routes and not attempt to travel the N54 between Clones and Leggakelly.

The Wattlebridge road in Newtownbutler is also closed today.

Independent Councillor in Belturbet Brendan Fay says that the safety of all those involved in the operation, as well as of communities North and South of the border is what’s important.

He told Shannonside Northern Sound that he hopes there is a satisfactory conclusion: