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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 July 2006, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Dissidents 'behind hoax package'
Pat Ramsey and his family have now returned to their home
Pat Ramsey and his family have now returned to their home
An SDLP assembly member and his family are back in their home after Army experts carried out a controlled explosion on a suspect device.

The police have described it as an elaborate hoax and they suspect dissident republicans were responsible.

About a dozen neighbouring families also had to be moved. It is the 14th such incident at Pat Ramsey's home in the Bogside area of Londonderry.

A controlled explosion was carried out on the suspicious object.

Mr Ramsey, who lives in Meenan Drive, said a suspicious object was discovered on Thursday by his daughter.

'Much disruption'

He said those who left the elaborate hoax device "have no respect for the people of the Bogside".

"This was not just an attack on me or my family. It was another attack on my neighbours - many of whom are elderly and unwell - and on the entire Bogside community," he said.

"The people responsible for these ongoing attacks have no respect whatsoever for the decent people of the Bogside, who have suffered far too much disruption as a consequence of this orchestrated campaign."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said: "Again the Ramsey family have been attacked and their neighbours have had to endure inconvenience.

The Army declared the suspect device an elaborate hoax
The Army declared the suspect device an elaborate hoax

"The Ramseys' response to this psychological torture has been typically courageous and resilient. They deserve the support of the people of Derry - and I have no doubt they have it."

PSNI Chief Inspector Ken Finney said: "ATO carried out an examination of the device, which turned out to be an elaborate hoax.

"That in no way minimises the stress that this caused, first of all to Pat and his family, and to people in the surrounding area who had to be evacuated and had their day disrupted.

"It is reprehensible. At this stage - and without any further information obviously - I would be leaning towards that it was the work of dissident republicans."

Sinn Fein appealed for the attacks to stop.

Party councillor Peter Anderson said: "My sympathies are for Pat and his young child. Moreover, my sympathies are for the community involved... it is not only Pat and his wife who are getting penalised here it is the whole community."

In November last year, two devices - which turned out to be hoaxes - were left outside his home over a two day period.

Watch Pat Ramsey talk about the hoax

SDLP man's house targeted again
28 Nov 05 |  Northern Ireland
Hoax device left at MLA's house
27 Nov 05 |  Northern Ireland
Family escape bomb attack
15 Sep 04 |  Northern Ireland

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