Bring Army disposal squad back to Finner
The Mayor of Ballyshannon has called for the Army's bomb disposal unit to be returned to its former base at Finner Camp.
Cllr Eugene Dolan says he's especially concerned at the placing of a viable explosive device outside a headshop in Letterkenny and the hoax-bomb in Bridgend. Both incidents took place on Sunday night, causing homes to be evacuated and roads, including the N13 main Letterkenny to Derry road, to be closed.
Yesterday afternoon, the Derry-based group Republic Action Against
Drugs, claimed responsibility for the bomb outside Yutopia, in Pearse Road Letterkenny. A statement issued by the group read: "Sunday night saw out Donegal unit place a timed device outside a shop in Letterkenny which sells deadly drugs. This is the owner's first and only warning."
Headshops across the country have been increasingly targeted by dissident groups across the country in recent weeks - with a shooting in Derry, a premises burnt out in Dublin and a firebomb attack on a shop in Sligo.
Just last week, the High Court in Dublin granted an injunction forcing a head shop to close, as it had changed its original use without consent. The court was told that the premises had been subject to several threats and that it was virtually uninsurable.
Cllr Doran told the Donegal Democrat/People's Press yesterday that headshops "are a threat to people's lives".
He said: "I attended the public meeting in Donegal Town last week in support of the attempts to have these head shops removed from the town. They are a threat to people's lives.
"However, this can only be done through a legal framework. There is no
way that I can condone people taking the law into their own hands and endangering the lives of innocent passers-by.
"The news that a dissident group has accepted responsibility for the attack in Letterkenny is extremely sinister and worrying.
"Over the weekend we have had two major bomb threats in Donegal. Just
last year we had a major incident in Donegal Town. It is now time that the Dept. of Defence revise their strategy and have the Bomb Disposal
Squad re-instated in Finner Camp.
"After the incident in Donegal Town last year, questions were asked why had the bomb squad been moved to Athlone and we were told that the incidence of bomb threats in Donegal was minimal.
"Regrettably, this situation seems to be changing and I would now call on the Minister of Defence to review this decision."
Ballyshannon-based Garda Inspector Denis Joyce commented yesterday: "The level of security along the border is reviewed on a regular basis in line with the level of security risk or perceived risk that exists at any given time. Regular contact is maintained with the PSNI in this regard."
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