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Five arrested after bomb factory found in Dublin

Gardai have arrested five men caught red-handed as they made bombs in a Dublin apartment. The men, who are believed to be members of the INLA and aligned to Armagh man Declan Duffy, were preparing the arsenal for the ongoing gang war with ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson.

They were arrested as they put the devices together in the ‘bomb factory’ at Parkwest after gardai swooped at 1.30am.

Three of the men, who are all in their 20s, are from Dublin, and two are from Northern Ireland. At least one of the men is from Belfast.

They can be held for three days, and are this evening being questioned in Shankill and Blackrock Garda stations, where they are being held under Republic's Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Armed gardai swooped on the men at the Parkwest apartment on the Nangor Road in Clondalkin.

The use of pipe bombs by criminal elements in Dublin is on the rise. Last year alone the Irish Army Bomb Unit was called out to investigate suspected devices 109 times.

Already this year gardai have been called to a number of incidents in the city where primed pipe bombs had been discovered.

The return of gangland kingpin ‘Fat' Freddie Thompson to Dublin has lead to two hoax pipe threats in the last month alone.

One was at a 21st birthday party at the National Boxing Stadium and another at a pub in Dolphin's barn following the funeral mass of a friend.

Duffy, a 34-year-old native of Armagh, with an address at Hanover Street West, Dublin 8, is currently in jail charged with membership of the INLA on June 22 of this year.

The Special Criminal Court heard at the end of July that an “extensive” file is being compiled by detectives dealing with “alleged activities over a long period of time”.

It is anticipated to be ready in early October.

Last month, one of the State’s most senior detectives told the court that Duffy would try to buy guns and extort money if he was released on bail.

The accused had previous convictions for possession of firearms and false imprisonment for which he was given a nine-year sentence.

Det Supt Diarmuid O'Sullivan claimed Duffy would continue his involvement in the INLA, directing activities and using intimidation and threats for the purpose of extorting money to run the organisation.

Duffy's lawyer Shane Costello said his client had committed no offences while on bail and was prepared to accept strict conditions including signing on a number of times a day.

At all times his client has denied membership of the INLA.

He was a father of two young children aged 7 and 10 and his wife was “quite unwell”, Mr Costello said.

While serving a sentence in the past he had been given temporary release on a large number of occasions and had surrendered himself back into custody voluntarily.

But Det Supt O’Sullivan said the accused refused to answer questions in relation to the extortion of money from a businessman in Cork and had also been questioned in relation to the apprehension of a particular individual in a house in Tallaght.

Mr Costello said the State was trying to put aside the presumption of innocence and Duffy had never been convicted of membership of an illegal organisation.

He added that the earliest trial date would be in Spring 2009 which means he would be spending nine months in jail before trial.

Mr Justice Butler said that he had to take the garda objection very seriously and with great regret had to refuse the application.

Belfast Telegraph

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