Concerned resident wheels pipebomb to station in pram
A MAN who found a viable pipebomb in his back garden wheeled it through a busy housing estate in a pram before giving it to gardai.
Officers have increased patrols in a Cork suburb after the incident which forced the evacuation of a garda station.
Detectives believe the pipebomb was placed in the rear garden of a house in the suburb of Togher as part of a major escalation in a long-running feud between two local groups.
Three days ago, a nearby home was the target of a fire bomb attack.
Both incidents are feared to be feud-related.
However, the viable pipebomb was placed in the garden of the wrong house as gardai believe those responsible confused two local addresses as they approached the property.
A local man spotted the device in the garden and became suspicious because of the wires sticking out of it.
He decided to bring it to the nearby Togher garda station using an old pram, as it was too heavy for him to carry.
The man unwittingly wheeled the device to the station - totally unaware of the dangers posed by the heavy cylinder.
Gardai are satisfied the man was not the intended target of the attack. Part of Togher garda station was immediately evacuated when the officer on duty realised precisely what the device was.
The Defence Forces were alerted and an Explosives and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Collins Barracks raced to the garda station to deal with it.
The viable pipe bomb was rendered safe by the EOD team within one hour.
Forensics experts are now examining the device parts in a bid to identify its origin.
Gardai fear the device is linked to the recent escalation of the long-running feud in the Togher area. "We could easily have been dealing with a fatality or a serious injury if this device had been accidentally triggered," a source said.
Over recent years the Togher feud has resulted in several fire bomb attacks, two stabbings, a vicious beating and a campaign of public intimidation against members of both groups.
A number of people have been injured in the feud with one high-profile individual lucky to avoid being killed after a savage slash attack.
No one was injured in the two incidents over the past three days.
However, the woman whose house was fire bombed last Friday remains deeply upset.
She was the sole occupant of the house when the incendiary device was thrown at the front door as she sat inside watching TV.
A small fire broke out but did not spread beyond minor scorching to the front door.
The woman contacted gardai after hearing a loud bang by her front door and then spotting flames through the glass.
Gardai have appealed to anyone who spotted suspicious activity in the Togher area between 11pm and midnight on Friday or between 9pm on Sunday and 7am yesterday to contact them.