The Irish foreign minister was forced off stage at a Belfast peace event on Thursday after being attacked by a van driver. The incident was reported by SDLP MP Claire Hanna‚ who was in the audience. According to her‚ the driver alerted security and was left in tears. In a tweet‚ Mr Coveney expressed his disappointment and thanked the PSNI. He added that he was deeply concerned about the situation. Police in Northern Ireland have forced Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney off the stage‚ just five minutes into his speech. The event venue was evacuated‚ and nearby roads were closed‚ with motorists advised to avoid the area. The foreign minister had earlier spoken about the need for peace in Northern Ireland and its abolitionist past. But he was suddenly escorted off the stage as a security alert was declared during the event. The security forces said a suspect package had been found on Coveney's van and that the driver was armed and forced to drive to the parking lot of the venue where he was giving his speech. A security alert has been issued for the peace event in Belfast‚ which was organised by the John and Pat Hume Foundation. The police say a van had been hijacked. The incident has forced the evacuation of the building and the PSNI are assessing the situation. The foreign minister and his team are safe‚ but the disruption has left people shocked. The police are monitoring the situation and are advising the public to evacuate the area. After the attack‚ Ireland's foreign minister Simon Coveney has been forced to take a back seat. The attackers drove to the peace event in a van‚ which was then loaded with explosives. The van driver was able to escape‚ but the Irish foreign minister and the driver of the van were unable to reach their destination. The attackers were caught before they could even leave‚ and the van was seized by the police. The Irish foreign minister's sudden removal from the stage was met with a stormy atmosphere. Some of the security alerts referred to the incident are a security alert and police are assessing whether to reopen the centre. A spokesperson for Coveney says he and his team are safe. While they have to evacuate the centre‚ a PSNI officer has confirmed that they are safe. The incident occurred during the speech by Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney. Organizers of the event are investigating the incident. The alleged van driver was arrested by the police and was later found guilty of terrorism. The vehicle was then taken away from the scene by the police. Afterwards‚ the riots caused over 25 homes to be evacuated. There were also several evacuations in the area‚ with residents being moved to other parts of the building.
The alert disrupted a funeral in the nearby Holy Cross Church. The PSNI is assessing the security alert and evacuation of the building. The police have ordered the evacuation of the area. The Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney was on stage for five minutes before being taken off stage by the gunmen. After he was taken off stage‚ he was driven away in a government car. Despite the security alert‚ the rioters' intentions were unclear. The police have reported that an armed man stole a van from a Belfast peace event. A suspect device was discovered in the hijacked van‚ but the police have not revealed the motive of the carjacker. Nonetheless‚ the gang did not attempt to enter the venue. It is unclear how many people were in the crowd. It is still unknown whether there are any survivors. The Irish foreign minister was escorted off stage as he gave a speech in Belfast‚ where the incident occurred. The police are assessing the security alert and are informing event attendees. The police are evaluating the security situation. They are preparing for the evacuation of the centre‚ while the victims and their families were in the back of the building‚ the gunmen had been killed.
I condemn the actions of those involved in a security alert at an event focused on peace, reconciliation and finding common-ground. Those determined to cause instability & disruption will not succeed. Those of us committed to peace will not be deterred. — Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) March 25, 2022
I am aware of reports of an ongoing security alert in Belfast.
I am being kept up to date and I am in regular contact with the PSNI.
Solidarity with @simoncoveney and all those impacted. — Brandon Lewis (@BrandonLewis) March 25, 2022
In Belfast with @Humefoundation to honour John & Pat’s legacy of peace for all communities. Saddened & frustrated that someone has been attacked & victimised in this way and my thoughts are with him & his family. My thanks to @PoliceServiceNI https://t.co/bs9LvTKBHW — Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) March 25, 2022
The attack on an event involving Minister Simon Coveney at North Belfast’s Houben Centre today is disgraceful.
Those behind the van hijacking which was left on church grounds have no place in society.
While they try to bring back the past, we will keep working for the future. pic.twitter.com/4U3tpILDs5 — John Finucane MP (@johnfinucane) March 25, 2022
Police are currently in attendance of a security alert at the Crumlin Road area of North Belfast this morning (Friday 25th March).
Motorists are advised to avoid the area and seek alternative main routes for their journey. pic.twitter.com/p3ikqdU6NM — Police North Belfast (@PSNIBelfastN) March 25, 2022