Bomb police intercept fifth package

A suspect package sent to an Irish republican organisation is similar to those sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two other high-profile supporters of the club, police said today.

The package was intercepted by police investigating parcel bombs sent to the Celtic manager and one each to lawyer Paul McBride QC and former Labour MSP Trish Godman.



Today Strathclyde Police confirmed that a fifth package was addressed to the offices of Cairde Na H'Eireann (Friends of Ireland) in Glasgow, possibly entering the postal system in Scotland.



The Scotland-based group organises republican marches, including the James Connolly march through Edinburgh and the Bloody Sunday march every January in Glasgow. It also campaigns against racism and sectarianism in Scotland.



The package was discovered at the National Return Letter Centre in Belfast about two weeks ago but nothing suggests a link to Northern Ireland.



Officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland recovered the package and alerted the Strathclyde force.



Early investigations suggest it is similar to the ones already being investigated, and was designed to cause "fear, alarm and real harm", police said.



Chief Superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson, of Strathclyde Police, said: "Naturally, the public are going to be concerned about the latest discovery. However, we would like to emphasise that this device is not a new one. It entered the postal system at the end of March, around the same time as two of the other packages.



"Like the others, it was addressed to individuals (or) organisations that have experienced high-profile media attention lately and it was certainly a viable device.



"We continue to have daily dialogue with Royal Mail, and their continued vigilance has been invaluable.



"The support and co-operation from the public has also been extremely positive. However, I would like to stress that the answers lie out there and we need as much information from the wider public as possible.



"Someone out there knows who is behind this irresponsible and appalling crime, and we will continue to work round the clock until the individual or individuals are brought to justice."



Two of the four parcels were intercepted at Royal Mail sorting offices in the west of Scotland last month, both addressed to the Celtic manager.



The first one was found in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, on March 4 and the second was intercepted on March 26 in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire.



Two days later a parcel for Ms Godman, former deputy presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, was delivered to her constituency office.



The package addressed to Mr McBride was intercepted at a postbox in Montgomerie Terrace in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, on April 15.



Lennon, 39, has endured threats and abuse throughout his career and was forced to retire from representing Northern Ireland in international football after claiming he had received death threats from a paramilitary group.



He was attacked in the street in the west end of Glasgow in 2008 and earlier this year received a package containing bullets.



Celtic players Niall McGinn and Paddy McCourt, both from Northern Ireland, were also sent bullets.



Mr McBride is one of Scotland's most-recognised QCs and is a well-known Celtic fan.



Ms Godman, who has stepped down as an MSP, represented West Renfrewshire. On her final day as an MSP, she was pictured wearing a Celtic football top at Holyrood.



Police are looking for a young couple who were seen in Kilwinning on Friday April 15.



Both were last seen in Montgomerie Terrace around 2.10pm boarding a Stagecoach number 20 bus which travels to Ardrossan. Both got off the bus at Kilwinning railway station a short time later and boarded a train to Glasgow Central station.



The man is white, in his early 20s and has dark-coloured hair. He was wearing a distinctive light-blue and white top with horizontal stripes and jeans.



The woman is also white, in her early 20s and was wearing a dark-coloured padded jacket.



Mr Nicolson added: "It is imperative that this couple come forward. I would like to stress that they are merely witnesses. However, any information they have could be helpful to the investigation."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?