herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Families in terror as nine pipebombs are found in garden shed

GARDAI are investigating the discovery of nine pipebombs in a shed in a North County Dublin housing estate.

Officers raided an unoccupied house in Swords and recovered nine pipebombs and components for another two devices as part of an intelligence-led operation.

The bombs were all made safe by an Army ordnance team but were described as viable and highly dangerous.

Among the components seized were explosive substances, which left the bombs capable of causing serious injury or possibly loss of life.

The find was made by local garda officers, who were granted a warrant by the courts to search the formerly rented semi-detached house at Bunbury Crescent in the Applewood area in Swords.



Locked

Officers had been alerted by reports from locals of suspicious activity in the area and found the devices stashed in a locked garden shed after a search, which began at 11am. The Army was called in and arrived at the scene just before 2pm.

The house, which is currently up for sale, is in close proximity to three schools, Swords Educate Together, Thornleigh Educate Together National School, and Gaelscoil Brian Boroimhe.

Terrified residents living around the house were evacuated from their homes yesterday for a number of hours before the area was declared safe at around 4.30pm.

One frightened resident said: "I'm terrified. I've two small kids. This estate is so quiet you'd hear a pin drop in it. We're just all shocked."

"It's hard to believe that it's going on only a few doors down from you. Everyone's terrified. They [the guards] just said that there were suspicious packages going in there and that it's certainly not a hoax."

Children and their parents walk past the house to school every day, and are shocked that they could have been in danger.

A garda spokesperson said the scene remained sealed off yesterday evening pending a full technical examination, and the Defence Forces Explosive Ordnance Disposal team were also working at the scene.

One witness said the situation could have been much worse, and neighbours are relieved that the bombs did not explode.

"With a pipe bomb you only need one to make a hole. It's lucky the guards got the tip-off about the house."

It is understood that the bombs, which gardai say were professionally made, were not constructed in the shed, but they were being stored there.

One resident, Mick Sharkey said: "The guards said there was suspicious activity in the house and he asked us had we seen any, but no one even knew about it."

Another said: "They [the owners of the explosives] knew what they were doing. It was a professional job. It's a family area, and there's a big green at the front of the house. It was a disaster waiting to happen."

hnews@herald.ie

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