REAL IRA bosses have vowed to kill garda informants after claiming responsibility for a bomb attack yesterday which left a former tout injured.
Paddy Dixon (48) remains under armed garda protection today after he escaped serious injury when a booby-trap bomb exploded at the front door of his home in Navan, Co Meath.
Blanchardstown man Dixon was discharged from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda yesterday where he had been treated for injuries to his face, hands and body as a result of the blast, which showered him with shards of glass.
In a chilling statement, the Real IRA said that they had intended to kill Dixon and had also vowed to murder other people who co-operate with gardai.
It said: "Dixon was an informer and he passed on information to gardai. We want to send a message out that if you are an informer we will get you. It is 12 years since this emerged and his life remains in danger."
The Real IRA statement added: "He was a known informer. He had been in and out of the country for the last number of years. We thought the best option was to blow him up to send out a message to all other informers that you will be killed. He is very lucky he is still alive."
Yesterday morning, investigating gardai initially were working on the theory that Paddy Dixon's son Mark was the target of the pipe bomb.
Mark Dixon was kidnapped by a drugs gang in 2007 and eventually rescued by the Garda Emergency Response Unit, who tracked him down using mobile phone signals.
Another son Ciaran Dixon (28) was jailed for six years for threatening to kill someone who owed him money for drugs and possession of two shotgun cartridges.
However officers quickly turned their attention to Mark and Ciaran's father Paddy and are now certain that dissident republican terrorists were responsible for the attack.
Former car thief Paddy Dixon, who lived in the house with his son Mark, spotted the device as he opened the front door and tried to dash back into the house.
But the blast smashed glass panels in the door and he was struck several times in the head and body. However, gardai said he had saved himself from more serious injury.
Dixon had been under garda protection in the late 1990s when he tipped off detectives about cars -- that he knew were stolen -- that were due to be used by the Real IRA in bombing attacks.
He was recruited as an informant by now disgraced Det Sgt John White when he worked as a detective garda in Blanchardstown.