POLITICS
03/05/2018 15:18 BST | Updated 03/05/2018 16:01 BST

Gunman At Polling Station In Northern Ireland 'Making Threats' - Reports

A 59-year-old man has been arrested after incident at Greencastle.

Police rushed to a polling station in Northern Ireland where a man with a handgun was reportedly making threats. 

People in West Tyrone, Mid Ulster, are voting in a Parliamentary by-election to replace the former Sinn Féin MP, Barry McElduff. 

But panic broke out around 1pm on Thursday at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, in Greencastle, when a man brandishing a weapon turned up and allegedly began acting in a threatening manner. 

No weapon was discharged and no-one was injured, the chief electoral officer has said.

Cops rushed to the scene and armed PSNI officers are manning the station. 

A 59-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of carrying a firearm with intent to cause fear or alarm. PSNI continue to comb the area. 

There are unconfirmed reports that the gunman was singling out unionist voters while others say the man directed his anger at polling staff. 

Politicians from across the political spectrum have condemned the violence. 

The Alliance Party candidate for the seat, Stephen Donnelly, said he was “disturbed” by the incident. 

Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP, Labour’s sister party in Northern Ireland, called it “shocking” and said “no one should feel intimidated” while trying to vote.  

UUP councillor Chris Smyth said he was at the polling station shortly after the incident and was “shocked and appalled”. 

The Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) said that they had received a report of a man acting suspiciously at a polling station on the Crockanboy Road, Greencastle just before 1pm today.

A police spokeswoman said: “It was reported that the man may have been carrying a firearm. Efforts are continuing to locate him and inquiries into the matter are ongoing.”

McElduff stood down as West Tyrone’s MP after he posted an image of a Kingsmill loaf of bread on his head on the 42nd anniversary of the massacre near the village of Kingsmill in South Armagh. 

Barry McElduff resigned as West Tyrones MP
Barry McElduff resigned as West Tyrone's MP after posting a video mocking victims of an IRA massacre

Eleven Protestant workers were lined up and shot by the IRA in 1976. Only one survived.

Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Féin’s leader in Northern Ireland, apologised to the victims and said the video was not the conduct expected of a party member.