Scant regard was shown for other people’s lives by those responsible for a pipe bomb alert on the outskirts of Carrickfergus.
That was the view of police and elected representatives after the discovery by a householder of a suspicious device at Larne Road on Wednesday morning of last week.
Residents in a cul-de-sac were evacuated and police cordoned off the area between Beltoy Road and Tongue Loanen, which led to diversions for motorists on the busy commuter route.
Vehicles attempting to access Kilroot business park, the power station and salt mines had to take a detour with similar re-routing experiences for traffic travelling from the Whitehead direction.
Among those affected was the driver of a Dublin-registered vehicle bound for Blackhead Lighthouse, where the launch of a new £2.2million tourism trail was taking place.
The incident came to an end around lunch-time after army technical officers made safe a viable pipe bomb type device, which was taken away for further forensic examination.
East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson said: “Somebody could have been seriously injured or worse had this pipe bomb exploded. There can be no place in our society for this type of violence.
“Those responsible for this device obviously have no regards for the lives of other people.
“If anybody has any information about this pipe bomb, then I would urge them to contact the police. Those responsible must be brought before the courts to face justice for their actions.”
In a statement to the Carrick Times, police said they would obviously be concerned at the presence of a viable explosive device in any populated area. The investigation, the PSNI added, is in it’s early stages and a full examination of the object is to take place.
Asked who may have been behind the incident, the statement continued: “It would not be helpful to speculate at this time however officers investigating who may have left the device are appealing for information.”
Police can be contacted by calling 0845 600 8000.