A security is currently underway in Maghery this evening (Monday) following the discovery of a suspicious object.
Police have sealed off a section of shoreline on the south shore of Lough Neagh, following the discovery of another beer keg – similar to the one found in Camlough earlier this morning, as well as two incidents in Keady last week.
No roads are closed, but people are asked to avoid the area.
The Newtown Road at Camlough Lake is also likely to remain closed for some time.
Chief Superintendent Andy Freeburn, South Area Commander, said: “While our enquiries are at an early stage, the discovery of these two objects follow security alerts which caused disruption to the community in the Keady area last week.
“In addition to asking anyone with information about any of these incidents to come forward, I would also ask any member of the public who sees anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, whether that is a person, people, vehicle or indeed any objects that look out of place, to contact police straight away on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”
A report can also be made online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/
DUP Councillor Darryn Causby commented: “This is an appalling attack on a quiet and rural community; those who recklessly left this device have no support in the wider community and their violent intent unites the Portadown community against terror.
“Portadown suffered a great deal during the troubles in Northern Ireland, however the people stood resolute against terror and our community will continue to do so.
“My thoughts are with those affected by the disruption this incident has cause but most importantly my thoughts and prayers are with the PSNI and Army Technical officers tasked to deal with this security alert.
“Whilst we are safe at home they are putting their lives on the line to protect the community and I know the wider community are grateful for their sacrifice.”
Alliance Councillor Eoin Tennyson added: “The incident tonight has caused great disruption for local residents. I want to thank them for their cooperation as police sought to ensure the area was safe.
“The people behind the suspicious object have nothing to offer our community. I’m currently liaising with police who are at an early stage of their inquiries.
“I would appeal to anyone with information about the incidents in Maghery, or the recent incidents in Camlough and Keady, to come forward. Furthermore, I would appeal to anyone who sees anything suspicious – be it a person, vehicle of object – to contact police without delay.”
SDLP Councillor Declan McAlinden said: “Maghery is a quiet rural settlement on the edge of South Lough Neagh.
“The community, I’m sure, would be horrified by this latest incident and would want to be disassociated with this type of behaviour.
“It does nothing to help the area and indeed puts Maghery on the map for all the wrong reasons.
“The community are hard working and proud of their area and you only have to look at the facilities they have built these last couple of years including a brand new training facility, play park and a very successful GAA team.
“These actions will not deter them from continuing to work hard to enhance the area for their and wider community.”
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein Councillor Oonagh Magennis said police have yet to examine the suspicious device left in the vicinity of Camlough Lake.
“I have been informed these diversions will be in place overnight,” she said.
“At present the ‘viability’ of this device has not been established and speculation only adds to the concerns of local residents and all impacted by the current situation.
“The person or persons involved in causing this scare for whatever reason have nothing to offer this community.”