PSNI man injured in attack
PSNI man injured in attack

An armed republican group has claimed responsibility for an attack in which a member of the PSNI police was seriously injured.

Oglaigh na hEireann said it had planted ta bomb which exploded under the car of a PSNI Irish language specialist as he drove to work on Friday morning.

As a Catholic with connections to republican communities and captain of the PSNI Gaelic sports team, Mr Heffron was a relatively prominent target. The PSNI man had been a member of the force, and previously the RUC, for over ten years.

The under-car device exploded on the Milltown Road in Randalstown, County Antrim. Oglaigh na hEireann said on Saturday that it was behind the attack.

In a statement the group said that despite PSNI claims that he worked to advance Irish culture “he was part of a British paramilitary police force... a British war machine”.

It also accused the PSNI man of “harassing republicans” from Woodbourne PSNI station.

Last year, Mr Heffron was the main spokesman at an extraordinary meeting of the Policing Board in Derry conducted in Irish.

During the meeting he delivered a talk on the importance of Catholics joining Britain’s police force in Ireland.

“There is undoubtedly a challenge before the PSNI to promote a career or profession in the PSNI in a community where such a possibility would have been impossible a few years ago,” he said at the time.

He was also a cousin of Sinn Fein national chairman Declan Kearney and Ciaran Kearney, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams’s secretary.

The latest attack appears to have confirmed Oglaigh na hEireann bomb-making expertise.

Last October, the group said they were responsible for placing a similar device under the car of policeman’s girlfriend in east Belfast. The woman escaped with minor injuries.

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness said: “The man injured today in this attack contributes positively to the community.

“The people who carried out this attack make no contribution.

“These actions serve no purpose and will not further any cause.

“My thoughts are with the injured man and his family. I pray he makes a full recovery.”

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