Athlone 'bomb' may be linked to factions' feud


GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING the discovery of a viable explosive device in Athlone, Co Westmeath, believe it had been left for collection for use elsewhere. Possible links to a feud between factions in the midlands are being explored.

The device was found late on Tuesday night in the Mount Temple area of Athlone. Gardaí immediately sealed off the area and requested assistance from the Army’s bomb disposal experts.

The Army team was on the scene at about 11.30pm. After an exploratory examination, the device was made safe.

The area was declared clear at 12.40am and its remains were handed over to gardaí for examination.

Sources said the device was viable and was primed and ready for use. It contained home-made explosives.

Similar devices found in the Athlone area in recent months are believed to be linked to a family feud in the midlands.

Informed sources said it was unclear if the latest device was also linked to that feud, but that possible connection is one line of investigation.

The discovery of the device brings to more than 150 the number of improvised explosive devices that the Army’s bomb disposal team has been called out to deal with so far this year, compared with 98 in all of last year.

Gardaí are not linking the Athlone incident to the discovery of another device found in St Johnston, Co Donegal, on Tuesday.