Republicans battled to put out a fire after arsonists struck at Sinn Féin offices in County Tyrone on Monday. Bins were set alight at the back of the building on James Street, Omagh overnight. Flames destroyed an emergency rear entrance and scorched the carpet before the blaze was put out.
But Barry McElduff, the Sinn Féin West Tyrone representative, insisted it could have been much worse.
``A number of local people and party workers intervened with water to put the fire out,'' he said.
``If they hadn't it could have taken hold inside the building and destroyed it.''
Mr McElduff was uncertain why the offices, which opened less than a year ago, were targeted. The attack came as Omagh celebrated Tyrone's historic victory in the All-Ireland GAA football final. Sinn Féin had already planned to keep the offices closed today as the town recovered from the celebrations. But Mr McElduff vowed they would reopen tomorrow.
He added: ``We are carrying out a full security review to make sure this doesn't happen again.''