Belfast Telegraph

'Dissident bomb plot' thwarted in Co Louth

By Joanne Fleming

A suspected dissident bomb plot has been foiled by police in the Republic.

Five men were arrested last night after a suspicious device was discovered in Co Louth.

The bomb was found in a car following the major operation by armed Garda investigating the activities of dissident republicans.

The discovery was made in Kilcurry, several miles north of Dundalk.

It is believed the device was in the process of being transported across the border.

A Garda spokesman said: "During the course of this operation, five men were arrested ranging in ages from early 70s to mid-50s."

The men are being detained in Drogheda and Dundalk garda stations and can be detained for up to three days.

Last night, the area was sealed off and the Irish army's bomb disposal team was called in.

Dundalk Fine Gael councillor Eamonn O'Boyle said he was pleased to hear of the success of the security operation.

"I congratulate the gardai and law enforcement services on a successful operation," he said.

"I certainly think it is the kind of thing that will not be tolerated here.

"There has been great community investment in tourism and people in this area will be revolted to hear of this. I hope nobody was injured in the operation."

Mr O'Boyle said local people would be shocked to hear they had been at the centre of a possible dissident operation.

"Kilcurry is an agricultural residential area three to four miles out of Dundalk," he said.

Sinn Fein Louth TD Gerry Adams said: "If this was an attempt to place a bomb then whoever is responsible should cease their activities.

"Anyone with an ounce of republican politics or common sense knows that there is a peaceful and democratic way forward."

Earlier this month a man was arrested in connection with the discovery of a viable device at a hotel in Dublin. The device, which was made safe by an army bomb disposal team, was found in a car outside a hotel in Lucan.

The Irish army confirmed that the device, found at the Finnstown House hotel, was viable and capable of causing damage. Guests had to be evacuated from the hotel during the incident.

In February, two Irish soldiers were also arrested over dissident republican links after a viable pipe bomb was found in Burnfoot, Co Donegal, near the border. One was subsequently charged.

Last November, two men were arrested following the discovery of a bomb in the Republic destined for Northern Ireland.

Bomb making components and fertiliser were found in a van in Monaghan near the border.

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