The bombs were found at approximately 2pm in a shed on waste ground at the rear of a row of houses in Granville Park, located on the south of the city.
A number of security sources said they believed the bombs were made by a subversive group for a criminal gang operating in the Ballinacurra Weston area, the stronghold of the McCarthy-Dundon criminal gang.
Gardaí found by the explosive devices after obtaining a search warrant at the District Court yesterday morning. Detectives acted on intelligence received from a criminal source.
“Like guns and ammunition, all the top criminals want pipe bombs too. They are sometimes thrown in with drug consignments and other weaponry they purchase,” said a Garda source.
The bombs can be sold cheaply on the illegal firearms market depending on their quality.
According to the Garda source, the bombs are usually bought in bulk, because it is cheaper to do so.
“You could buy one pipe bomb for between around €200-€400, but you can buy up to 10 bombs for around €2,000.
“They are cheap enough. We believe the Provos are making them and selling them to the gangs. The people making the bombs obviously have expertise.”
One major problem facing the criminals who buy the crude bombs is safety.
“The problem the gangs have on their hands is safety. Transport is a big problem because you are taking a chance yourself by handling the bombs.”
Pipe bombs are usually made from tubular steel structures packed with gun powder and other shrapnel.
“There is a nut at the bottom of the bomb which explodes the device when it flies up on impact. The shrapnel spreads and can cause serious injuries or death,” said the Garda source.
An Army Explosive Ordinance Detonation unit travelled to the scene from their base in Cork yesterday to inspect the eight bombs.
According to Superintendent Frank O’Brien, Henry Street Station, seven houses were evacuated.
Last Wednesday a five-year-old boy had seven fingers blown off when he picked up a similar type pipe bomb which had been left at the front door of his house in Newtownmount-kennedy, Co Wicklow.
It emerged that the eight bombs found in Limerick yesterday were discovered in a shed on an area that was previously designated for a children’s playground.