Politicians from both sides of the Irish border have condemned dissident Republican attempts to blow up a former police officer as he brought his 12-year-old daughter to school.

The attack was condemned at a meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council in Armagh.

Irish PM Enda Kenny and Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness both condemned the attempted murder and those dissidents responsible for it.

The attempt to kill the former officer at Tullycarnet in East Belfast was similar to the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr in Armagh in 2011.

The former officer spotted a bomb under his car when he checked the vehicle before driving his 12-year-old daughter to school.

Police believe his diligence saved his life and that of his daughter.

Speaking after the council meeting attended by 24 Ministers from both governments in Armagh, McGuinness slammed the attack and those responsible.

He told the Irish Times: “These dissident Republicans are living in cloud-cuckoo land.

“I unreservedly condemn this attempt to take the life of another human being. Northern Ireland has emerged from a very cruel conflict and dissidents cannot be allowed to succeed.

“Anyone with any information about such activity had a duty to bring it to the Garda (police) and PSNI.

“We are moving forward and under no circumstances are we going to tolerate a situation where small, unrepresentative groups believe they have a right to plunge us back to the past. It isn’t going to happen.

“They are living in cloud-cuckoo land and they need to waken up and recognise the futility of the actions they are involved in."

Ulster’s First Minister Peter Robinson added: “All the leaders here deplore the incident. I think everyone recognizes that there are some elements of our society who have not caught the public mood that wants to move forward.

“Politically they will not block the progress that has been made. We will continue to work together to make a better community for our people to live in.

“It is to be regretted that there are still Neanderthals out there who believe this is an appropriate way to advance whatever they believe their cause to be.”

Ireland’s PM Enda Kenny also condemned the attack and praised the level of co-operation between the Garda and PSNI.

Kenny said: “It is at an exceptionally high level.”