Thursday, January 14, 2010

PSNI officer has right leg amputated

PSNI officer has right leg amputated

DAN KEENAN Northern News Editor - Thu, Jan 14, 2010 – Irish Times

THE POLICE officer targeted in a car bomb attack last week in Co Antrim has had his right leg amputated, the Police Service of Northern Ireland has confirmed.

Peadar Heffron (33) remains in a critical but stable condition in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital. He was seriously injured last Friday when a device exploded under his car as he left his Randalstown home for duty at Woodbourne station in west Belfast.

The Irish language specialist and Gaelic footballer was targeted by dissident republicans because he was a Catholic and a high-profile officer in language and sporting circles, the PSNI believes.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott said: “He is a modern-day hero, he is someone who has stepped out, someone who is doing the right things for everybody.”

There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing and no single dissident group has been singled out by the police.

Mr Baggott told UTV: “What a fantastic officer he is and what a great man of courage, a man who is doing all the right things in the community, saving people’s lives and helping people day in day out.

“I want to pay him that tribute as he lies seriously injured in hospital as a result of this abhorrent attack.”

He expressed confidence that other Catholics would not be deterred from applying for careers in the PSNI following the attack.

“If that means becoming involved with the Gaelic Athletic Association, helping people to have a conversation with us using the Irish language, respecting people in every walk of life and every community – then that’s exactly what the police service and police officers should be about,” he said.


To Seamus Boyle, A.O.H. National President,

In view of the firmly stated commitment of the A.O.H. to the devolution of policing and justice powers which would include the management and direction of the PSNI , I would like to make the following suggestion. When our National Board meets to determine the recipients of this year's F.F.A.I. donations, consideration should be given to a generous donation being made to the family of PSNI Constable Peadar Heffron who was the victim of a heinous bomb attack by a dissident republican group. Constable Heffron is currently in hospital suffering from very serious life threatening injuries as a result of a bomb exploding under his car as he traveled to work one morning recently. His injuries will most likely prevent him from returning to work for a very long time if at all.
Constable Heffron is a nine year veteran of the PSNI, a Catholic, a member and player of his local GAA Irish football club in Co. Antrim, as well as an enthusiastic and fluent Irish speaker. He serves on the PSNI group that works with the Irish speaking community in West Belfast and is well respected in that community as a man who is very proud of his Irish heritage.
Such a donation would serve as an affirmation of our commitment not only to the turning over of policing and justice to the devolved government at Stormont and our condemnation of acts of violence by dissident republican groups, but also our strong support for the ultimate success of the Peace Process.
Yours in our Motto,
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America

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