10 February 2006

Gardaí probe CIRA link to pipe bomb

Irish Examiner

By Cormac O’Keeffe

GARDAÍ are investigating whether the Continuity IRA carried out a pipe bomb attack on a man in north Dublin on Wednesday evening.

Security sources initially thought the dissident republican group might have supplied the bomb to a criminal gang as part of a new ‘consultancy’ business it was developing. But some gardaí yesterday indicated the CIRA might have been directly involved in the bombing as part of its growing extortion campaign.

The paramilitary outfit - although quite small in number - has been increasingly active in the last year and a half, particularly in certain pockets in Dublin, as well as in Limerick.

The blast on Wednesday occurred outside the house of John Ward in Coolock as both he and other individual were moving a car.

The pipe bomb - contained in a thermos flask - fell off the boot of the car onto the ground, breaking apart.

The men heard the device ticking and ran for safety.

Army bomb experts said the bomb exploded, but failed to detonate fully.

The pipe bomb was packed with nails and shotgun pellets but they were not dispersed.

The interior of the bomb did explode but the bulk of the blast was embedded in the car. Neither the owner of the house nor his friend were injured.

Gardaí at Coolock are investigating a number of theories into the reasons behind the bomb attack.

They are being assisted by the Special Detective Unit - which investigates paramilitary activity.

Army bomb experts and officers from military intelligence are also involved.

The army experts are examining the contents of the bomb and its design in the hope of pinpointing which group might have manufactured it.

The renegade group was involved in two pipe bomb incidents in Dublin towards the end of last year.

Last December, a bomb was discovered in a car on the M50 motorway as it was due to be delivered to a criminal target.

Last November, a sophisticated hoax bomb was found on the driveway of a drug abuser in Blanchardstown, west Dublin.

The bomb was linked to the CIRA after someone from the group rang media warning of “extreme measures” as part of a new anti-drug campaign.

The previous January, the CIRA was believed to have been behind a pipe bomb in Belcamp Crescent, Coolock, a short distance from the scene of Wednesday’s explosion.

There have been a similar number of pipe bomb incidents linked with the Continuity IRA in Limerick in recent years.

Garda sources said there were “little nests” of CIRA activists in Dublin, with about eight in the west of the city and around a similar number in north Dublin.

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