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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020
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Gardaí suspect fires at 5G masts were deliberate after coal found

The 5G masts went on fire at Long Lane and Dr McGinley Road in Letterkenny last night.

A file photo of a 5G tower.
A file photo of a 5G tower.
Image: DPA/PA Images

GARDAÍ SUSPECT TWO large telecommunications masts were set on fire deliberately in Donegal.

The 5G masts, which are due to be put into operation soon, went on fire at Long Lane and Dr McGinley Road in Letterkenny last night.

Gardaí say that an examination of the scene found pieces of coal at the scene of the fires.

Both the gardaí and the fire service rushed to the scene of both blazes last night.

A full forensic examination of both scenes was carried out by officers this morning and the results of those tests are awaited.

However, a garda source said: “We do suspect the fires were started deliberately. Traces of coal were found near the control boxes beside the masts.

“We are awaiting the results from our forensic boys but we do suspect this was a deliberate act.”
  
The controversial masts, which are approximately 50 feet in height, did have work carried out on them earlier this week.

Local county councillor, Gerry McMonagle, who lives near the scene, condemned the attacks.

He said “We all have our concerns about 5G and we are all awaiting the results of various reports.

“But the reality is that we simply cannot take the law into our own hands and do something like this. It is vandalism at the end of the day no matter what anyone thinks.

“I would appeal to people to desist from engaging in this type of behaviour. The gardaí have enough to be doing without attending scenes like this.” 

A number of similar incidents have been recorded in the UK in recent weeks as a completely unproven conspiracy theory linked these masts to the spread of the coronavirus. 

An expert involved in the fight against the virus has described conspiracy theories linking 5G technology to the pandemic as “utter rubbish” after videos showing masts on fire were posted on social media.

Condemning the theories as “the worst kind of fake news” at a Downing Street press conference earlier this month, national medical director of NHS England Professor Steve Powis said: “I’m absolutely outraged, absolutely disgusted, that people would be taking action against the very infrastructure that we need to respond to this health emergency.

“It is absolute and utter rubbish.”

With additioanl reporting by PA

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Stephen Maguire

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