The discovery of a viable pipe bomb on a footpath near a children's health facility in Dublin is linked to a simmering Traveller feud in the area, the Herald can reveal.
Gardaí were alerted to the incident at Rafter's Avenue, Drimnagh, at 9am yesterday after a member of the public came across the bomb.
Officers immediately sealed off the scene, which led to road closures in the area that is close to the Children's Health Ireland facility.
The Army bomb disposal unit was called to the scene.
Gardaí from Sundrive Road are investigating the incident and no arrests have been made.
"This is a very serious case, in terms of a viable bomb being found on a Dublin street in broad daylight," a source told the Herald last night.
"It is not known if this incident was part of a warning from one faction to another, but there is no doubt that this device could have maimed someone or even worse," the source added.
Sources said that gardaí had "no doubt" that the bomb is linked to a Traveller feud between two families that has been ongoing for more than a decade and has led to a number of serious incidents in the past, including an attempted murder.
"There is no doubt that it is about that feud - this is a dispute that seems to never go away. It is a miracle really that no one has been killed.
"The participants are all living in the general Crumlin and Tallaght areas, but also in Finglas," a source told the Herald.
The incident caused late-morning rush hour chaos in the area while the defence forces dealt with the pipe bomb.
Dublin Bus had to divert routes 27, 56a, 77a, and 151 for a number of hours.
"Following a request from An Garda Síochána, an Army Bomb Disposal Team were tasked to investigate a suspicious item found in Drimnagh, Dublin 12. The team arrived at the scene at approximately 10am," a Defence Forces spokesman said.
"On arrival, a cordon was established and maintained for the duration of the operation. A viable device was identified, made safe and removed for further examination. The team departed the scene just after 11.30am," he added.
An examination of the pipe bomb at Cathal Brugha barracks in Rathmines by Army specialists determined that the device was viable.
Thankfully, no one was injured and the bomb disposal unit did not carry out a controlled explosion at the scene.
The Defence Forces are urging people who find suspicious items to stay back and call gardaí immediately.
"Should members of the public encounter suspicious items, or hazardous substances, they are advised to maintain a safe distance and inform An Garda Síochána," a spokesman said.
The use of pipe bombs by criminal gangs has declined in recent years but there have been a number of incidents in the capital this year, including two in Ballymun in February, which led to residents being evacuated from the Knowth Court estate.
In March, gardaí raided a quarry on the Carlow/Kildare border, where it was suspected pipe bombs were being made by dissident Republicans.