Frances Fitzgerald praise for Gardaí after bomb finds

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald yesterday praised the actions of gardaí after they confiscated two viable bombs and components parts of two other explosive devices belonging to dissident republicans.

While it is not clear if either find was part of a plot to target Prince Charles, who visits Ireland with his wife Camila next week, Ms Fitzgerald said she expected the couple to have “a very positive experience” and said gardaí were alert to any security threat.

The seizure of component parts of bombs in counties Wexford and Louth yesterday and the arrest of four men, one a suspected terror chief, was the result of a long-running garda security operation. Senior sources were reluctant to comment on whether the suspects had planned an attack on Prince Charles, but confirmed the timing of the operation was “not a coincidence”.

The discovery of two bombs in Co Leitrim later on Wednesday was the result of good luck and alert gardaí, who were conducting traffic enforcement duties. When they searched a car, they uncovered a pistol and suspected component parts for explosives. Two occupants in their 20s were arrested.

An analysis conducted by an army bomb disposal team at the scene in Manorhamilton determined that the parts were actually “viable improvised explosive devices”. The army explosive ordnance disposal team rendered the devices safe.

Other army teams examined two other finds in Courtown, Co Wexford and Dromiskin, Co Louth uncovered by the garda security operation.

A Defence Forces spokesman said these were component parts of explosive devices, both of which were made safe. Garda sources said a 60-year-old man arrested in that operation was detained on suspicion of directing terrorism, while the three younger men, aged in their 20s, were arrested on suspicion of membership of an unlawful organisation and possession of explosives.

The 60-year-old is considered a leader in dissident grouping Óglaigh na hEireann. He was previously a member of the Provisional IRA and the Real IRA.

Ms Fitzgerald declined to comment on the specific arrests, but praised the garda operation.

“I want to commend the gardaí for their ongoing activities on dissidents in this country,” she said.

She said the vast majority of people welcomed the visit of Prince Charles.

“I expect Prince Charles will have a very positive experience here and clearly the gardaí are alert to any security issues and will deal with any security issues that will arise,” she said.

DISCOVER MORE CONTENT LIKE THIS

More on this topic

Government told to stop looking at gardaí as 'some kind of financial imposition'Government told to stop looking at gardaí as 'some kind of financial imposition'

Garda Representative Association loses court case on paid sick leaveGarda Representative Association loses court case on paid sick leave

Fresh bid to trace killers of Detective Garda Adrian DonohoeFresh bid to trace killers of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe

Inspectorate calls for single Garda control centreInspectorate calls for single Garda control centre


Lifestyle

What is it about the teenage years that are so problematic for families? Why does the teenage soul rage against the machine of the adult world?Learning Points: It’s not about the phone, it’s about you and your teen

Extending veganism to your hair and beauty regime is getting easier thanks to a growing industry response to the movement, writes Rachel Marie Walsh.How your beauty routine can go vegan

Áilín Quinlan hears about a programme helping school children to develop effective strategies to deal with worry, stress, and change.Power of positivity: The tools helping kids deal with worry, stress, and change

Yvonne Mulligan set up Nine Yards Design in 2016.Going the distance to build on creativity: Meet interior designer Yvonne Mulligan

More From The Irish Examiner