There has been widespread condemnation of the explosion that occurred in the Wattlebridge Road area of County Fermanagh on Monday, August 19.

Local business owner Ciaran McBride was at his premises when the explosion occurred. He said: “All I heard was a bit of a rattle, a small explosion. It was not overly loud but we would be half a mile away from where the incident is but I knew it was an explosion.”

Condemning the incident, Mr. McBride added: “We don’t need it. It’s just totally wrong, no matter how you look at it. I don’t know what’s going on anymore in society. “It’s going backwards, not forwards. Nobody in this locality, in this area, agrees with any of that type of thing at all. “

A number of politicians have also responded in condemnation of the incident.

DUP leader Arlene Foster tweeted her condemnation of the latest incident, describing the explosion as a “clear attempt to kill”, while Secretary of state Julian Smith said he was “following developments closely”.

Leo Varadkar condemned the “cowardly actions of those responsible”, adding the explosion could have had “devastating consequences”.

He also revealed that he had discussed the incident with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

SDLP Councillor Adam Gannon said: “We’re very fortunate not to be dealing with the death or serious injury of police officers or members of the public.”

Ulster Unionist MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Rosemary Barton has condemned the “attempted murder” of police and army technical officers at Wattlebridge calling it a “despicable crime.”

Mrs. Barton said: “I am absolutely disgusted to hear that yet again republican terrorists have tried to murder police and army technical officers in County Fermanagh. “This is a despicable crime and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. My thoughts are with the police officers and soldiers who thankfully escaped injury in this cowardly attack.

Commenting that for many years the people of the Fermanagh area were subject to a terrorist campaign of murder and intimidation resulting in people being forced to move from their homes, Mrs. Barton added: “Now once again the law abiding people of this area are being targeted. This has happened several times within the past year. Sadly terrorists are still at work in our society.” Mrs. Barton concluded by appealing to anyone with information relating to the incident, to pass it on to the PSNI.

Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew said: “This morning’s bomb attack in Wattlebridge was totally wrong.”

She continued: “Thankfully no one was injured in this incident but we could have been dealing with a situation where people were seriously injured or worse.”

“Those responsible for this incident have nothing to offer society and need to end these actions immediately. Anyone with information on this should bring it forward to the PSNI,” Mrs. Gildernew concluded.

Cross Community Labour Alternative (CCLA) Councillor Donal O’Cofaigh stated: “Another senseless and indefensible attempt to kill or maim - offering nothing progressive for anyone in our society. We must redouble our efforts for unity and socialism in order to defeat those who offer only more hurt, fear, anger and sectarian division.”

Mark Lindsay, chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, labelled the attack as the actions of “depraved and sick republican terrorists with nothing but misery to offer”.

Lisnaskea-based victims’ group South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) has responded to the incident.

Speaking on behalf of the foundation, Director of Services Kenny Donaldson stated: “When the initial suspicious object was found we feared it was the ‘come on’ for a further attack upon the Police when they would be carrying out their follow up security operation. Mercifully no one was murdered or injured but that wasn’t the intent of thee behind the attack.”

He continued: “The Republican community at large inclusive of its’ political leadership need to put up or shut up, baseless words of condemnation are worthless”.

“Those involved in this incident and other terrorist incidents from within that community are known, leadership is needed and they must be handed over to the authorities. The policy of ‘silence’ must lift,” concluded Mr. Donaldson.