Wednesday 13 December 2017

Prison officer's family 'badly shaken' after pipe bomb found underneath his car

The Defence Forces (stock image)
The Defence Forces (stock image)

Alan O'Keeffe

THE family of a prison officer have been left badly shaken and after a pipe bomb was found under his car.

The north Dublin community where the man lives condemned the incident, on Sunday afternoon, which traumatised the officer and his family and caused local roads to be sealed off for several hours.

A major alert led to the officer’s terraced home in St Aidan’s Park, Marino, being evacuated.

Residents in surrounding properties were also advised by gardai to leave for their own safety while army bomb disposal experts dealt with the incident.

A source close to the officer said it had left him and his family “very nervous.”

Local cafe owner Jimmy Bowler (58), who is chairman of the Fairview Marino Business Association, said: “I know the gentleman who was targeted in this terrible incident. He’s a really nice man.

“The whole community is saddened and sickened by what happened. This is a wonderful area for families to live.

“It’s shocking what has been visited on this family. Our hearts go out to them.

“There’s a very wide crosssection of people living here, and what happened has been very disturbing for everyone.

“The local gardai are great. The community feels that it’s been invaded after what happened.”

A 48-year-old man who is a neighbour of the prison officer said: “This was an attempt at intimidation and was disgraceful.

“The gardai were asking people to leave our homes and it lasted around three hours.

“I was very impressed how the gardai were on top of everything so quickly.

“The gardai ensured there was no sense of panic.”

Another neighbour – a 38-year-old father-of-one, – said: “I’m the father of a young baby and I hate to think how close all this was to her. It’s very unnerving for me.

“Children regularly play on the green area here and any of if anything happened.”

An investigation has been launched by the Irish Prison Service (IPS), while the prison officer in question is receiving security advice from gardai.

A source said the discovery of the pipe bomb was “very sinister” and detectives believe it is a “blatant attempt to intimidate” the officer.

“The investigation is ongoing, but initial inquiries suggest this man’s home because of his line of work.”

A garda spokesman said further examinations of the device will be carried out.

Herald

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