Simon Coveney taken to safety following security incident in Belfast
Minister Coveney was attending an event for the John and Pat Hume Foundation, which was subsequently abandoned.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney was forced to abandon an address following a security alert in Belfast on Friday morning, 25 March.
Minister Coveney and his team were taken to a secure location as the incident unfolded.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, a van was hijacked on the Shankhill Road and a canister was subsequently placed on board.
Following this, the driver was forced to drive the van to the Holy Cross church, where Coveney was attending an event organised by the John and Pat Hume Foundation.
The event, which was also attended by victims of The Troubles, was abandoned.
Alan McBride of the WAVE Trauma Centre, whose wife Sharon was killed in the Shankill bombing of October 1993, was among those in attendance.
It has been reported that a suspect device was discovered in the car park of the venue.
In response, Minister Coveney condemned the incident.
"Saddened and frustrated that someone has been attacked and victimised in this way and my thoughts are with him and his family," said Coveney on Twitter.
"My thanks to the Police Service of Northern Ireland," he added.
Earlier this week, the terror threat level in Northern Ireland was lowered for the first time in 12 years; downgraded from "severe" to "substantial".
Moderator of Friday morning's event Tim Attwood denounced the individuals involved in sabotaging the ceremony.
“Those who think they can drag us back to those dark days are very much mistaken," he said.
"They are long gone and this will only renew our efforts for peace and reconciliation and our work will continue."
Police are currently in attendance of a security alert at the Crumlin Road area of North Belfast this morning (Friday 25th March).
Motorists are advised to avoid the area and seek alternative main routes for their journey. pic.twitter.com/p3ikqdU6NM
— Police North Belfast (@PSNIBelfastN) March 25, 2022
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