Count back at Complex for first time since bomb

William Hay at the Templemore Count centre in 2010.
William Hay at the Templemore Count centre in 2010.

The Londonderry election count centre is moving back to Templemore Sports complex this year for the first time since dissident republicans forced a taxi-driver to take a pipe bomb to the venue in 2010.

Derry City Council confirmed the Local Government Election Count for the Londonderry and Strabane areas will be taking place in Templemore Sports on May 23 and 24.

Elections to the European parliament will also be taking place the day prior (May 22).

A bomb alert at Templemore in May 2010 forced the chief electoral officer to switch venue to Lisneal College for the 2011 polls - out of concern for her staff and the public.

The switch followed a bomb alert and controlled explosion at the Complex. It began when a taxi was hi-jacked in Hazelbank, a pipe bomb placed in it, and the driver ordered at gunpoint to take the vehicle to the venue.

At the time of the switch, East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell said the move made sense as a temporary measure but that the activity of small dissident republican groups should not be allowed to disrupt the democratic process.