Three pipe bombs 'left by criminal gang, not dissidents'
THREE pipe bombs discovered beside a rural bus stop were left there by criminals and not dissident republicans, according to gardai.
The devices were discovered in Ballinakill, Co Kildare, at 7.30pm on Sunday by gardai during a planned search of the area.
The explosives, described as "crude, but viable", were made safe at the scene by members of the Defence Forces bomb squad at 9.10pm.
It is understood the devices had all the components necessary to cause an explosion, but were not armed to go off immediately.
Gardai last night said they were satisfied the devices belonged to a criminal gang, and were not related to dissident republican activity.
Preliminary investigations confirmed the devices had not been left with the aim of blowing up the bus stop.
They had been placed on the grassy margin beside the bus stop on the Allenwood to Carbury road.
Officers are investigating the likelihood that the explosives were stashed in the area to be collected at a later date.
They are also investigating whether the discovery is linked to a locally based criminal.
The scene was declared safe after 10pm and the devices were handed over to gardai. The discovery comes in the wake of a series of explosive finds in recent weeks.
At the beginning of April, a possible attack on one of the country's most dangerous criminal gangs was foiled when gardai uncovered two pipe bombs in Limerick.
Investigating officers believed the pipe bombs found in a ditch beside a derelict house in Rathuard, Ballysheedy, Co Limerick, had been recently assembled.
Another pipe bomb hidden just feet from a busy railway bridge in a Dublin suburb was also believed to have been left there by a criminal gang.
Thousands of DART and mainline rail passengers had their travel plans disrupted when the homemade device was found at the bottom of a wall between the railway line and a narrow footpath on the old Dun Laoghaire road near Monkstown, Co Dublin.
It contained explosives and a detonator, but had not been armed.
Gardai do not believe the intention was for it to be detonated at that location, but was being hidden by a criminal gang for use elsewhere.
Detectives are appealing for anyone with information about the latest find to contact Leixlip garda station on 01 6667800, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.