N. Ireland Politics

Road near Ballykinler army base to be closed to traffic

Part of a road outside one of the biggest army barracks in NI has been closed off to vehicles because of the dissident republican threat.

Part of the Shore Road in Ballykinler will only be open to emergency services and anyone who has successfully sought permission from police or army.

The Secretary of State has used his executive power to issue the order.

A 300lb car bomb found in nearby Castlewellan last year was believed to be intended for an attack on the base.

Dissident splinter group Oglaigh na hEireann claimed responsibility for the attack.

About 200m of the road has been closed off, following what was described as a "security review" carried out by the PSNI.

Local residents were consulted before the plan was implemented, including two households that were directly affected.

Part of the road was closed previously for a period during the Troubles.

An NIO spokesperson said: "The closure begins just beyond the entrance of the dwelling closest to the base."

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie said she had been made aware of the road closure.

She added: "I will be raising this issue with the Secretary of State and highlighting the fact that Ballykinler Army Base and the local community have always been and continue to be very much integrated."