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Gerry O'Carroll: Only a matter of time until gangs kill a child in pipe bomb explosion

IT'S only a matter of time before an innocent man, woman or child is murdered by a pipe bomb.

That's not an idle observation, it's a prediction.

Because unless we get a grip on the epidemic of blast devices in our capital city we will have a fatality.

The nature of these devices, and the fact that they are left in public places, mean it'll not be the target who dies, it will be an innocent person.

Their use by Dublin's criminal gangs is one of the most sinister and deadly developments of recent years.

These bombs are IEDs, somewhat similar to the bombs used to create carnage and mayhem in Afghanistan and Iraq.

They were once a trademark weapon of paramilitaries here, but are now used more often by drug gangs in Dublin.

This week one of the devices was found close to the rail line between Monkstown and Dun Laoghaire. It had been hidden there for future use by a criminal gang.

While the device was defused, major travel chaos ensued, with rail and road links in the vicinity closed for over three hours.

Experts confirmed that the bomb was viable, containing explosives and a detonator.

The find brought to 67 the number of devices that Bomb Disposal Team has dealt with since January -- 11 of which were viable.

In a more alarming revelation, experts are finding that these bombs are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Last week a bomb exploded and blew out the front door of a house in Clondalkin, with a six-year-old child narrowly avoiding serious injury.

Three weeks ago another device caused major damage when it exploded under an innocent woman's car in Ballyfermot.

And last Monday in Mulhuddart another bomb went off under a car at 1am, causing extensive damage.

Culprit

If one needs to see the deadly consequences of such devices we only have to look at the murder of the young PSNI officer Ronan Kerr, killed by an under-car bomb.

The increasing use of these deadly devices by criminal gangs is a challenging problem for the gardai to deal with. The gardai have seized caches of them but, without catching the culprit in the act, it is very hard to bring the bombers to court.

Resources may be scarce, but they need to be assigned to the special detective and other garda units.

This threat needs to be met head on -- and fast.

I won't watch Liz's grandson tie knot

I don't know exactly where I'll be at 11am on Friday week.

But it certainly won't be in front of a screen looking at a shower of stuck-up Germans hosting a wedding knees-up.

As I've written before, I'm no royalist. I've no problem with Liz Windsor nipping over for a jolly -- we need all the tourists we can get -- but I won't waste my time gawking at her grandson's wedding.

Many of my fellow citizens are closet royal fans and will be glued to the screens to watch the pomp of William's wedding to Kate Middleton.

Even in the hallowed streets of the Treaty City -- Limerick -- there will be a screen for people to watch the wedding, I'm told.

Best of luck to the couple -- but if anyone's looking for me next Friday morning I'll probably be out in the allotment watching how my spuds are coming along.

No tears for Quinn -- he won't suffer

YOU'LL not see nothing like the mighty Quinn. Or so we all thought.

During the boom, Fermanagh businessman Sean Quinn was a colossus of the Celtic Tiger. He was the living embodiment of the successful entrepreneur, a business mogul with his own extensive empire.

Everything he touched turned to gold and, in fairness to him, he brought employment and optimism.

How the mighty Quinn fell.

Mr Quinn initially maintained a silence, but he has now emerged to blame his downfall on the "mistake" of relying too heavily on Irish banks and economic advisors. So he's blaming the banks and the boffins, moaning about a "life sentence" he's incurred.

Mr Quinn will find little sympathy among the ordinary people of this country, many serving real life sentences in negative equity simply because they wanted a roof over their heads.

This is the same man who behaved like a Las Vegas gambler when he took a punt on the toxic Anglo Irish Bank. The Quinn Group now owes the bank €2.88bn.

It was a gamble motivated by greed, no more, no less. Mr Quinn succumbed to temptation, losing the run of himself, gambling and losing.

There will be no tears shed for Mr Quinn by people who are today struggling to put food on the table. Something tells me that Mr Quinn will not be faced with any of these options -- "life sentence" or not.

Right now, the last thing we need is Peig's return

IS this some sort of sick joke?

Just when the country needed a bit of cheering up, I read that Peig Sayers, the bane of Leaving Cert students of a certain age, is set for a comeback. Just thinking about Peig, left, plunges me back into an era of isolation, depression and poverty. Like a totem of grim doom, her autobiography lingered over the Irish syllabus for decades until it was mercifully removed. But now plans are afoot for the return of Peig, with news of a double CD of the old woman telling her short stories.

I predict more gruelling tales of tragedy, despair, poverty and deprivation -- like those in her book. Mind you, every cloud has a silver lining. If you think we have it bad in this recession, I advise that you pick up 'Peig' and thank God you didn't live on Blasket Islands 120 years ago.

Or have to sit the Leaving Cert before 1999.


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