Halting site sealed off after bomb thrown

A HALTING site close to Waterford’s city centre was sealed off for up to nine hours yesterday after a nail bomb was thrown on Sunday night as part of a continuing feud.

The army bomb disposal unit was called to investigate the device and it took some hours for the area to be declared safe.

Members of one of the Traveller families living on the Bilberry site, close to Rice Bridge, were targeted by the bomb, described as “crude” by the defence forces.

The incident, which happened at about 11.30pm, was the second of its kind in the city during the weekend. A petrol bomb was thrown into the front garden of a house in the Ballybeg area early on Saturday morning.

Nobody was injured in Sunday night’s explosion but it’s thought that, if anyone had been in the immediate vicinity at the time, they could have been seriously hurt because of the amount of staple-type nails packed into the bomb.

The explosion happened in the same halting site where 16-year-old Bridget Delaney was shot and left with 91 pellets in her body last September.

A spokesman for the defence forces confirmed they had received a request from the gardaí to investigate a suspect device in the Bilberry area of Waterford.

“Once our team got to the site, they identified the device and it was clear that it had previously detonated and it was a very crude, home-made device,” he said.

The area was declared safe yesterday morning.

It was the fifth time in six weeks that the army bomb disposal unit was called to an incident in Waterford City.

Gardaí are appealing for information from the public. No arrests have yet been made but gardaí are satisfied both this incident, and the petrol-bombing incident in Ballybeg on Saturday morning, are related to the feud which erupted in mid-July.

Sergeant Larry Sheehan of Waterford Garda Station said efforts to broker a peace deal between the feuding Traveller factions are still ongoing — but the problems will continue until the families themselves agree to end their violence.

“Efforts are continuing all the time to put a stop to the dispute, but that has to be something the families involved want themselves,” he said.

More in this section