Church survives Northern Ireland bomb blast

Downshire Road Presbyterian Church

Downshire Road Presbyterian Church

A  church was damaged by yesterday's bomb blast in Newry.

Built in 1843, the Presbysterian church in Downshire Road was close to the explosion. Rev Brian Colvin, pastor, said that a commemorative window had been broken and it would be a few days before the full impact of the damage could be assessed.

Rev Colvin said: "It is a sad day for our community and we thought these days were behind us," but he added that he was  thankful that no one has been injured."

"I believe that most people just want to build peace and these things are not helpful and I think the community has been shocked," he said.

Police were left with just minutes to clear the area around Newry courthouse before a car bomb weighing an estimated 250lbs exploded last night. Dissident republicans are being blamed for the attack which damaged a number of buildings. The blast was heard two miles away.

Ch Supt Alisdair Robinson said it was a "sheer miracle"  no one was killed or injured.

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