Explosives found in Dublin flat


A Garda investigation is under way after a Slovakian man unwittingly carried explosives on a commercial flight to Ireland as part of an airport security check that went wrong.

The 49-year-old was one of eight people who had plastic explosives planted in their luggage last Saturday morning at Bratislava airport by the Slovakian security services.

The covert planting of the material in the passengers’ bags was done to test the airport’s security screening.

Security checks at the airport uncovered seven of the concealments. However, the man flying to Dublin was not detected.

He passed through all checks in Bratislava, took his flight to Dublin airport and then travelled into his apartment on Gardiner Street in Dublin’s north inner city.

He unpacked his bag but the explosives had been concealed so well that he did not find them. The Slovakian authorities only realised yesterday that one batch of explosives was missing. They established the Dublin-bound passenger had not been detected.

The airport police at Bratislava airport then contacted their counterparts in Dublin. Gardaí were then alerted, identified the man’s flat and went to it and searched it. The Army’s bomb disposal experts examined the explosives at the scene.

The roads around the apartment complex including Dorset Street, a main artery into the city, were sealed off for an hour, and local apartments and businesses were evacuated. The area was declared safe at 12.05pm.

The 96 grams of plastic explosives were taken away for examination by Garda ballistics experts.

The man at the centre of the incident knew nothing about the explosives that had been planted in his bag. He was arrested at his apartment, but gardaí released him after they satisfied themselves he was innocent. He has been living in Ireland for some time and works here as an electrician. He was returning to Ireland after holidaying in Slovakia over Christmas.

The Government and Garda have been in contact with the Slovakian authorities. The Slovakian Minister for the Interior has already expressed his “profound regret” to Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern.

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy has appointed Det Chief Supt Martin McLaughlin to establish the full background into the incident.