Feared gangland boss linked to pipe bomb incident on rape victim's car
One of the country's most feared gangsters is suspected of having an active involvement in a shocking incident in which a viable pipe bomb was placed underneath the car of brave rape victim Fiona Doyle.
A massive garda investigation involving specialist units was continuing last night into the discovery of the bomb by Ms Doyle's partner yesterday morning. Senior sources said the device had the capability to "maim and kill on a grand scale".
Ms Doyle, who spent much of yesterday being interviewed by gardai was not the target of the bomb attack. Instead, it is understood that gardai are probing whether her partner - who works as a nightclub doorman and is not involved in crime - may have fallen foul of a highly dangerous Wicklow-based gang.
The incident happened at Ms Doyle's home in Ballycanew, north Co Wexford, at 9am yesterday when her partner got into the family car to take their son to school.
It was only after returning from the journey that her partner discovered the bomb where his car had been positioned. Gardai were notified and the army bomb disposal team were subsequently called in.
"Someone has left a pipe bomb under my car, I can't believe it. We have been evacuated from the house. I believe it has something to do with my husband's work. He works as a bouncer. It's quite scary," Ms Doyle told the Herald yesterday morning.
A cordon and road closures were put in place for public safety and a number of nearby houses were evacuated.
"The bomb disposal team arrived at 12.15pm. The device was made safe at the scene without the need for a controlled explosion and was taken away for further examination. It was later confirmed as viable.
"Items of an evidential nature will be handed over to the gardai to assist them with their investigation. The scene was declared safe at 2pm," a Defence Forces spokesman said yesterday.
The gangster being investigated about his involvement in the sinister incident is aged his early 40s and is considered a 'major player' nationwide.
The criminal leads a gang that has links to drugs gangs all over the country.
The Wicklow-based criminal has a huge property portfolio and links to the Continuity IRA and his gang has been linked to abductions and bomb attacks.
Ms Doyle was at the centre of a public battle to have her father's prison sentence lengthened for raping her repeatedly as a child during the '70s and '80s.
Her father, Patrick O'Brien, had his jail sentence for abusing her tripled to the nine years earlier this year.
He had previously pleaded guilty to 16 sample counts of rape and indecent assault of Ms Doyle while she was growing up in Dun Laoghaire and had nine years of a 12-year sentence suspended.