Politicians condemn ‘chilling’ shooting of off-duty police officer in Northern Ireland

Politicians condemn ‘chilling’ shooting of off-duty police officer in Northern Ireland

POLITICIANS in Northern Ireland have condemned the shooting of an off-duty police officer in Co. Tyrone last night.

The attack, confirmed by the PSNI, took place around 8pm at a sports complex in the Killyclogher Road area of Omagh.

“One man, a serving police officer, has been taken to hospital for treatment after being injured in a shooting incident at a sports complex just before 8pm this evening,” the PSNI confirmed last night.

In a statement made this morning, Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan confirmed: “The serving officer was shot a number of times.

“He has been taken to hospital and is in a critical but stable condition."

“Our investigation is now underway and I would appeal to anyone who was in the area and witnessed what happened or could help with our enquiries to make contact with police on 101 quoting reference number 1831 of 22/02/23.

“Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org."

Politicians have condemned the attack, with Sinn Féin’s leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill stating last night: “Terrible news this evening of an off-duty police officer being shot in Kilyclogher, Omagh.

“This is an outrageous and shameful attack.

“My immediate thoughts are with the officer and his family. I unreservedly condemn this reprehensible attempt to murder a police officer.”

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood claimed the attack was committed by people who “believe they are at war with Britain”.

“The brutal attack on a police officer in Omagh is a chilling reminder of the horrifying violence that criminal gangs are willing to visit on the people of Northern Ireland,” he said.

“My thoughts and the thoughts of my SDLP colleagues are with the man and with the paramedics, doctors, nurses and police colleagues looking after him at this time.

“In the face of appalling violence that has no place in modern Ireland, their bravery and selfless dedication to service is an enduring reminder that for every individual determined to tear us apart, there are hundreds more committed to defending our peace and all those who live under it.”

He added: “Those behind this attack are committed to the fallacy that they are at war with the British establishment.

“Let me say very clearly to them that they are not. As I have said before, their fight is not with the British Government or the PSNI.

“Their fight is with the people of Ireland who have chosen peace. And it is a fight that they will never, never win.”