A major investigation is under way after a 'box bomb' was placed outside the family home of a highly respected garda.
The garda's young children were in the house when the officer – who is aged in his 30s – noticed the bomb at his front door on Thursday afternoon.
Sources say that a midlands-based Traveller gang, which the garda has been investigating, are the chief suspects.
The discovery at the officer's home near Mohill, Co Leitrim, led to the deployment of the Army bomb disposal unit.
The bomb "was viable and capable of causing serious injury or death", a source said.
It is understood that the garda is "extremely concerned" for his family. There will now be an increase of armed patrols around the officer's rural home.
A member of the suspected gang is a Traveller criminal who has "flooded Longford with heroin" after he paid off Real IRA figures Nathan Kinsella and Alan Ryan a 'drugs tax' to allow him to deal in the town, according to sources.
Sources say that the gang is in a "state of turmoil" after a large number of recent garda successes against them.