Gardai on alert as RIRA plans fertiliser bomb
Gardai have warned all officers to be extra-vigilant in relation to stolen fertiliser after intelligence was received that the Real IRA is planning on stealing vast amounts of it to make bombs.
The warning was issued the day before a huge car bomb containing around 51lbs of highly volatile ammonium nitrate fertiliser and sugar was discovered in the car park of the Finnstown Country House Hotel in Lucan, west Dublin, last Saturday night.
Sources said the nationwide alert was put in place after a “very large quantity” of fertilizer was stolen in Cork late last month.
A source said: “Gardai will now be on the lookout for large quantities of fertiliser - it’s a danger because its nitrate content makes it perfect for use in bombs.
“This is something that the Special Detective Unit are looking at closely, and it is causing major concern.
“There will be checks on trucks to see if fertiliser is being transported around the country at night.”
Gardai received a phone call shortly before 9pm on Saturday about a suspicious Northern Ireland-registered car in the Finnstown car park.
Worried officers alerted army bomb disposal experts after spotting a metal keg in the back seat.
Hundreds of guests at the hotel, including many who had been attending a wedding, were evacuated as the scene was sealed off.
On Tuesday, a 55-year-old man appeared before the Special Criminal Court charged with possession of explosives at Finnstown Country House Hotel on Sunday.
Samuel Devlin, with an address at the Golf Suite, Finns-town Country House Hotel, Lucan, Co Dublin, is charged with the unlawful possession of an explosive substance, to wit Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN), at the same address on May 11.
The charge does not relate to a car bomb that was found that same morning in the car park of the same hotel.
Mr Devlin, who is originally from Co Tyrone but has lived in Dublin for a number of years, was arrested by members of the Special Detective Unit.
He was also charged with membership of an unlawful organisation within the State, namely Oglaigh na hEireann, otherwise the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA on May 11, 2014.
Presiding judge Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley, sitting with Judge Margaret Heneghan and Judge Ann Ryan, remanded him in custody for three weeks until June 3.