Sunday 19 November 2017

Key suspect identified for explosion under car

Garda forensic experts examine the scene after a bomb exploded under the car of Alan Coyle
Garda forensic experts examine the scene after a bomb exploded under the car of Alan Coyle
Alan Coyle who was targeted in car bomb in Letterkenny

Greg Harkin

DETECTIVES have identified the chief suspect in an under-car bomb attack on a father of three.

Fisheries bailiff officer Alan Coyle and his partner were left badly shaken when a bomb exploded under his car at 4am yesterday.

He was asleep at the time at his home in Manor View Park in the Long Lane area of Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

The device blew the front tyres off Mr Coyle's Mitsubishi 4X4. It is understood that gardai have already identified the man they believe was responsible for the incident, which was not linked to Mr Coyle's work as a fisheries officer.


Gardai have liaised with officers in the PSNI, believing the suspect – who is originally from Letterkenny – may have fled across the Border.

CCTV footage from a neighbour's home captured the incident and a silver car was seen leaving the scene.

"Alan has spoken to gardai and detectives are confident they know who was behind this shocking incident," a friend said last night. "He is really shaken by what happened. He can't believe someone would actually put a bomb under his car."

Defence Forces bomb experts examined the scene after the incident to check for possible secondary devices but declared the area safe shortly after noon.

Det Insp Pat O'Donnell, who is leading the investigation, said: "There is some CCTV footage from the area and we are examining that. This is an extremely unusual incident."

Garda forensic teams moved in after the area had been declared safe by army technical officers. A number of families had to leave their homes.

Neighbour Mirek Goiski and his family were forced out of their house. He said: "We were asleep and we were woken by a loud bang.

"We could see smoke coming from the jeep. It was terrifying. This is a very quiet area and people just can't believe there has been a bomb."

Mr Coyle (63) helps guard some of Donegal's top salmon rivers from poachers.

Anybody with any information, or who noticed anything suspicious, is asked to call gardai on 1800 666 111.

Irish Independent

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