Gardai foil a hoax car-bomb plan by Real IRA dissidents
Published 20/05/2011 | 05:00
Gardai foiled a terrorist plan to severely disrupt Queen Elizabeth's visit to Co Kildare yesterday hours before she set out from Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park.
Intelligence gathered by the Special Branch indicated that supporters of the Real IRA were plotting to create chaos by claiming to have left a car bomb along the queen's route.
The gang stole a car from west Dublin, which they intended to abandon, and then make an anonymous telephone call suggesting that it contained a bomb.
Gardai believe the intention was massive disruption rather than to set off a device.
But as a result of the intelligence, armed members of the Emergency Response Unit intercepted the car at 2am in Clane, Co Kildare, and arrested a well known Real IRA sympathiser. The 32-year-old suspect was detained under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and was taken to Naas garda station.
Shortly after 10am, detectives swooped again in Roberstown, Co Kildare, and arrested the 31-year-old brother of the first suspect and a 26-year-old man.
Meanwhile, 12 protesters were arrested by officers at Connolly rail station in Dublin last night after gardai seized a haul of rocks, fireworks and flares.
The 10 were part of a 32 County Sovereignty Movement group, who had planned to march to the Convention Centre where the queen was visiting last night.
They included a brother of a convicted Real IRA terrorist, who had taken part in a demonstration which erupted into violence at Christchurch on Wednesday night.
Later yesterday, several hundred people lined the route to give a warm welcome to Queen Elizabeth as she wound her way across the plains of Co Kildare.
Gardai formed the frontline security, manning barriers, sealing off streets and roads and carrying out spot checks. The Army deployed 300 troops along the way from the National Stud in Kildare town to Gilltown.
The Ranger Wing stood by with helicopters, while the Air Corps and Army provided top cover protection, with fixed-wing craft and helicopters hovering over the queen's cavalcade.
Light tactical armoured vehicles, fitted with surveillance equipment and a radar system, were in action as part of the €4m air defence umbrella.
But there were no protesters, apart from a group of 25 members of Republican Sinn Fein, who selected the Market Square in Kildare town to stage their protest -- more than a mile from the National Stud.