PSNI cordon at Belfast’s Corn Market after a Fire bomb ignites in a shop

It’s the third security alert within the last four days. Welcome to Belfast: where every discarded box is treated as a suspicious object

 After the terrible timing of a bomb exploding in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter on the evening of Friday the 13th, two more security alerts have occurred within the last twenty-four hours in Belfast city centre. A viable pipe bomb on Glenmeer Close, West Belfast at 11:00 GMT and yet another this evening in the form of a fire bomb in the Corn Market area of the City Centre at about 18:40 GMT.

Bomb disposal unit at Glenmeer Close.

The incendiary device (a suspicious looking cardboard box in the images below) was left at a golfing shop in Corn Market. Staff removed it from the premises and left it outside, while Army bomb disposal officers continue to examine the incendiary device. Meanwhile police have cordoned off the Corn Market area.

Cordoned off Corn Market area as Army bomb expects examine device

The suspicious incendiary device – a cardboard box

No-one was killed or injured after the bomb explosion on Friday night – the viable bomb was disabled at the scene by the Army bomb experts this morning. However the full extent to the security alert this evening is still being treated as suspicious as Army bomb experts continue to examine the incendiary device.

PSNI leaflets handed out to local businesses

Security has been stepped up in the city centre since the small bomb explosion in the Cathedral Quarter on Friday night, in addition to the 130lb proxy car bomb partially exploded near Victoria Square last month.

Despite the detonation of a bomb that had the potential to not only cause serious injury but also the potential to kill, the people of Belfast were out in force the very next day.

Busy pubs in the Cathedral Quarter 24 hours later

Around 1,000 people were affected by the alert in the Cathedral Quarter on Friday night, as well as Belfast’s main entertainment area, home to a number of popular bars and restaurants. It was estimated that the businesses of Belfast lost a whopping £60,000 from that one night, however this man didn’t let the explosion ruin his dinner:

One determined/hungry customer

Twenty-fours after the small explosion in the Cathedral Quarter on Friday night  the same evacuated restaurants were booked out, the ‘house full’ signs were also up at the Ramada Encore hotel and the Christmas Market was as busy as any normal night in the city.

“It’s ridiculous doing this sort of thing – it is not constructive for either side, it completely goes against all the effort that has been made to attempt to remove these sort of hate crimes from Northern Irish society and is not a concern of this generation, but an echo of the past, a past where it should remain.” Says Dave McIlroy, 3rd year Psychology student at QUB