A hoax device that led to the temporary evacuation of a wedding party from a well-known hotel outside Cork city is believed to have been planted in an effort to intimidate one of the guests.
The suspected pipe bomb, found in a lift in Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig, led to the temporary transfer of the wedding party and guests by bus to the nearby White Horse pub and the rugby club while the situation was dealt with.
The drama began shortly before 9pm when the management contacted the emergency services to report what turned out to be a hoax device at the property.
An Army Bomb Disposal Team arrived at the hotel at 10pm after the hotel had been evacuated and a cordon put in place by gardaí for public safety.
The device was examined by the team and, in a subsequent statement, the Defence Forces declared it to be “a crudely constructed hoax”. Items “of an evidential nature” were handed over to gardaí and the scene was declared safe at 10.55pm. The wedding resumed at the hotel shortly afterwards.
Gardaí are examining CCTV footage and are trying to establish a motive for the incident.
The man, from the northside of the city and who is suspected of involvement in the illegal drugs trade, was injured in a shooting in Knocknaheey a few months ago when a man armed with a pellet gun cycled past a shop and fired shots at him as he stood outside.
The man, who faced charges in connection with a serious assault in the city a few years ago, is also believed to owe a substantial amount of money to a Dublin-based criminal gang.
In a statement yesterday, Oriel House management said the hotel “reacted in accordance with our own health and safety policy and training procedures and the building was evacuated and the appropriate emergency services contacted”.
“The emergency services confirmed the device was not and was never a threat,” the statement said, adding that management “would like to thank most sincerely all clients on Saturday evening for their understanding and all staff for their quick and professional response”.