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Sunday 22 September 2019

Gangster targets rival's girlfriend with pipe bomb as feud escalates

Gardaí at the scene in Drogheda, where the device was found.
Gardaí at the scene in Drogheda, where the device was found.

Ken Foy and Ryan Nugent

Associates of shot mob boss Owen Maguire are believed to be behind a terrifying incident in which a viable explosive device was left in the exhaust pipe of a car belonging to a rival mobster's girlfriend.

A flame was observed coming from the exhaust of the car in Drogheda at 2.40pm yesterday, sparking a major security alert.

The device was viable and had wires coming from it.

A senior source told the Irish Independent that gardai believe the device was detonated by a criminal using a mobile phone.

"This car was parked on a very busy street and the bomb placed in the vehicle's exhaust could easily have led to loss of life," the source said.

It had melted in the heat of the detonation.

This is the latest instalment in a bitter feud in the area.

The innocent woman was targeted by the gang after the tit-for-tat feud escalated significantly in recent days, with six separate attacks taking place between Thursday night and Friday morning.

Those incidents included four petrol bomb attacks and an assault upon a teenager.

The latest incident took place yesterday afternoon, when gardaí were alerted to the suspicious device.

Homes were evacuated in the area and gardaí put a security cordon in place.

Last night, gardaí said the device had been made safe by an Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team. Both the car and the device were removed to forensic examination by gardai.

Gardaí had been carrying out stop-and-search armed patrols in recent days in an attempt to curb the rising tensions, with sources saying more resources were now needed to tackle the feud.

There have been fears in recent weeks that the spate of incidents will eventually lead to a death.

The feud kicked off on July 5, when Maguire was shot at in an attempt on his life.

He is still undergoing treatment at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dublin.

The first incident of the six that took place, beginning on Thursday night, occurred shortly after 11pm in the Termon Abbey area, when a petrol bomb was thrown at the home of an innocent relative of a man involved in the feud.

It is understood that no one was hurt, although there was major damage to the property.

Less than 15 minutes later, gardaí received reports of a man entering a halting site in the Cement Road area, carrying a firearm. However, when gardaí arrived at the site, they found no firearm.

At around 2am on Friday, part of Cement Road was damaged in a petrol bomb incident.

Irish Independent

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