“We are only interested in rescuing the casualties and saving lives.”

The notable comments on the army helicopter crash on Sunday, near an army base and a housing estate in Crossmaglen – from which four police officers and two military personnel were taken to hospital – are not those from the political parties’ representatives. They are from the Ambulance Service’s director of operations, Brian McNeill who described the episode from the ambulance crews’ point of view. Updated below

Stones, fireworks and snowballs were hurled at the ambulance crew as they attempted to treat the injured.
“They stopped the vehicle for about a minute and shone torches into it,” the Ambulance Service’s director of operations, Brian McNeill, said.
“We are only trying to do our job and it is difficult enough going to a major incident like that without having to deal with unruly crowds, and it is unacceptable.”

And

Mr McNeill added: “We would appeal to people to stop this. Thankfully the person who was on the ambulance which stopped was not critically injured.

“We are only interested in rescuing the casualties and saving lives.”

Update There’s an apparent discrepancy between the events described above – by the Ambulance Service’s director of operations, Brian McNeill – and the comments from Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, MP for Newry and Armagh – recently spotted at the enthronement of the Church of Ireland’s new Primate

“I saw kids throwing snowballs, we asked them to disperse and the vast majority of them did disperse and that was the end of it,” he said.


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