Three men suspected of the attempted murder of a police officer were arrested by Northern Ireland police on Thursday. Suspicion falls on “violent dissident Republicans”. Seriously injured, the experienced policeman, a member of the police force for 26 years, “is fighting for his life” and was operated on, explained to the press Simon Byrne, of the Northern Irish police. His condition is considered “critical but stable”.
John Caldwell was shot several times by two men while at a sports complex in the central British provincial town of Omagh during football training with children, including his son. Unanimously condemned, this attack comes a month and a half from the 25th anniversary of the peace agreement that ended the conflict in Northern Ireland.
No claims for the attack
If the investigation does not rule out any leads, it focuses on that of “violent dissident republicans”, hostile to belonging to the United Kingdom, and in particular on the new IRA, according to the police. “It is tragic and sad that some are still trying to take us back to the past,” Commissioner Simon Byrne said, announcing the arrest of three men aged 38, 45 and 47 “in connection with the attempted murder of John” . The attack has not yet been the subject of any claim.
The New IRA, a splinter republican group from the Irish Republican Army, has admitted responsibility for two attacks in recent years. In April 2021, a bomb was planted under a policewoman’s car in front of her home. The group had also admitted being responsible for the death of Lyra McKee, a journalist killed in April 2019 while covering clashes in the city of Londonderry.