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‘Sheer luck that the woman woke up’ – Police react to 25-year prison sentence of Sean McVeigh

Detectives from PSNI’s Major Investigation Team have welcomed the sentencing of Sean McVeigh from Lurgan for attempting to murder police officers and possessing explosives with intent to endanger life on June 18, 2015.

On Friday, the 38-year-old was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment at Laganside Crown Court after he was found guilty of placing an improvised explosive device underneath a vehicle at the home of two serving police officers.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said: “In the middle of the night on 18 June 2015, Sean McVeigh attempted to attach a bomb under the car of a male police officer when he was disturbed by the victim’s wife, who is also a serving officer.

“It was simply through sheer luck that the woman woke up, looked out her bedroom window and caught Sean in the act or two police officers could potentially have been seriously injured or murdered.

“Sean McVeigh chose to attack two officers who had selflessly chosen to protect their community and keep people safe despite the ever present threat posed by dissident republicans.

“I am thankful that despite Sean’s evil intentions, he was unable to take these people away from their families and destroy numerous lives all in the name of his warped ideology.

“Sean gave little thought to the community of Eglinton and his reckless actions could have caused devastating harm to residents living in the area if the bomb had exploded.

“Furthermore, the incident caused considerable disruption and upset to the local community, some of whom had to be evacuated from their homes in the middle of the night.

“Friday’s success follows a rigorous investigation by detectives and I welcome the fact that Sean McVeigh is behind bars.

“His plan was to destroy lives and it demonstrates the ruthlessness and recklessness of those opposed to peace and who live for violence. Northern Ireland is a safer place with this terrorist removed from our streets.

“I would like to thank our colleagues in PPS and officers from An Garda Siochana who provided assistance in stopping Mr McVeigh when he crossed into Donegal as he fled the scene of the crime and their continued support during the criminal justice process.

“I would like to pay tribute to the local community for their ongoing support, the vast majority of whom want Northern Ireland to be a place where people can live together peacefully.”

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