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Thursday 17 January 2019

Two men arrested after 'ice box bomb destined for use in Drogheda feud' found

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Gardai are tonight questioning two men after seizing a sophisticated explosive device they believe was destined for use in the vicious crime feud in Drogheda.

The device was discovered after a garda plainclothes patrol searched a van at Brews Hill in Navan in the early hours of Monday morning.

Two men in the van were arrested and an Army bomb disposal team was called in to defuse the device, which had been built into an ice box type container that had been wrapped in cellophane.

The container had been wired and primed, according to gardai.

One officer said last night: "It was ready to go and only needed a timing device.  It was very much a viable device".

The officer added: "It was a great seizure by young eagle-eyed gardai, who were not happy about the behaviour of the men in the van".

Two detectives became suspicious of the occupants of the van shortly after midnight.

They radioed for support and then interviewed the occupants.  During a search of the van, they found the bomb hidden in the rear of the vehicle.

The suspects were arrested under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and taken to Navan station for questioning.

Both of the men are from Dublin and one is regarded as a "serious criminal", who is well known to officers in the capital.

Officers believe the the van was to be driven to Drogheda where the device was for use by one of the feuding gangs.

An Army bomb disposal team arrived at Brews Hill at around 3.20am and a cordon was put in place while gardai evacuated nearby houses until the operation was completed.

The device was made safe and removed by the Army five hours later and the cordon was lifted.

The Army removed the bomb and it has since been handed over to the gardai for more detailed examination by ballistic experts in the Garda technical bureau.

The Army advised the public that if they encountered munition components or suspect items, they should maintain a safe distance and inform the Garda.

Gardai are expected to consult with the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine if either of the suspects should be charged and brought directly before a court.

Gardai in Dublin, Louth and Meath have been closely monitoring contacts between crime gangs in the capital and those suspected of involvement in the feud in Drogheda.

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