Man held as bomb-making facility found in Dublin


GARDAÍ BELIEVE they have uncovered a facility that has been making pipe bombs for supply to the criminal fraternity and to the so-called Real IRA dissident republican group.

A man suspected of directing the pipe bomb-making operation was in Garda custody last night after he was arrested when gardaí raided a large halting site in Darndale, north Dublin, from first light yesterday.

Teams of armed uniformed and plain-clothes detectives moved in on the Tara Lawns site, off the N32 near Northern Cross and the Malahide Road, as part of an investigation into worsening feuding between the Real IRA in Dublin and gangs in the city.

Last Thursday night and in the early hours of Friday morning three pipe bombs were planted by the Real IRA outside houses in north Dublin as part of the feuding, with two exploding.

The feuding resulted from the Real IRA’s efforts to extort money from some of the biggest crime gangs in the city. The gangs have mainly resisted paying the money and in recent years some have come together as a coalition to resist the extortion attempts. The dissident group is also feuding with some of those gangs that are not part of the gangland coalition.

There have been a series of gun attacks as the Real IRA has clashed with several gangs, with the shooting dead of Real IRA member Alan Ryan in Clongriffin, north Dublin, last month significantly escalating the feuding.

Gardaí believe the pipe bombs used last week were planted by the Real IRA as part of revenge attacks for the killing of Ryan.

The main gang the dissidents are feuding with is one based in Finglas, Dublin, formerly led by murdered drug dealers Marlo Hyland and Eamon Dunne.

Gardaí began an investigation into the origins of last week’s bombs, which led them to raid the Tara Lawns site yesterday.

They discovered pipe bomb components, two firearms and ammunition and two live pipe bombs, which the Army disposal team was called in to make safe. Gardaí could be seen yesterday searching caravans, outhouses and vehicles on the site and also searching undergrowth for pipe bombs that might have been concealed away from dwellings on the site. A religious grotto was also being closely examined for concealed items.

The search operation – carried out by 80 gardaí – involved local gardaí from Coolock and other stations in the Garda’s northern division backed by the Special Detective Unit, Emergency Response Unit, National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Garda Air Support Unit and the Garda dog and mounted units.

The man in his late 20s who was arrested is being held under section 30 of the Offences against the State Act at Coolock station.

He is from the area and is well-known to gardaí for his involvement in organised crime. Gardaí believe the man has in effect teamed up with the Real IRA in recent years and used that association to take on other drug dealers in the north Dublin area.

His suspected role in helping to supply pipe bombs to the Real IRA is a worrying development for gardaí. There are fears the pipe bomb attacks of last week will be repeated and that gun violence associated with the feud will intensify in the aftermath of Ryan’s murder.