Number of security alerts indicate heightened concern

[Updated below the fold]  Yesterday’s security alert in east Belfast has been declared a hoax, and another in the Gobnascale area of Londonderry has ended after army bomb experts examined a ‘suspicious’ van following reports of masked men and shots being fired.  And more army bomb experts are examining a suspicious object found near the home of a police officer in Kilkeel, County Down.

Adds From the updated BBC report

[The police officer] is the niece of independent republican councillor Martin Connolly, who left Sinn Fein three years ago when the party decided to support the PSNI.

He declined to condemn the apparent attack, saying he “did not want to get into the politics of condemnation”.

“It hasn’t done any good in the past, nor will it do any good in the future,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is – let’s deal with facts and be realistic about it – while there’s British occupation in Ireland there will always be opposition to that, whether you agree with it or not.”

Mr Connolly added: “Let’s wait and see the outcome of this and see whether or not it is a viable device or whether it’s something as simple as a hoax.”

Well, as Danny Morrison, defending the position then taken by Sinn Féin’s Francie Molloy, once wrote on “The Politics of Condemnation”

Better to be honest, even if it means being misrepresented, than to be a hypocrite.

Indeed.

And  Sunday, security alert outside Lisburn Road police station in Belfast.