In the aftermath of the major bomb alert in Donegal Town on Friday a spokesman for the Irish Defenses Forces confirmed that the device was, in fact, armed and viable.
Defense Forces Press Officer Commandant Gavin Young confirmed later on Friday afternoon that the device was viable and was a crude homemade bomb. He further confirmed that the incident is now being investigated by the Gardai (Irish police).
The most sinister aspect of this incident is the fact that the device was planted in a doorway on the town’s Main Street just 100 meters from the local St. Patrick’s Church where Mass-goers would normally have being coming and going at that time of the day. Furthermore it was within 400 meters of the main national schools in the town.
Had the bomb detonated it would have wrecked havoc and had the potential to cause many casualties on the narrow Main St.
The alert was raised at approximately 8:15 am on Friday morning when a phone call was made to the local Garda station by a suspicious passerby. Sgt. Tony Cornyn acted swiftly in calling the Bomb Disposal Unit and cordoned off the affected area.
Residents of the town’s Main St. were quickly evacuated from their homes. Gardai from outlying stations were drafted into the town to coordinate safety procedures and traffic diversions.
In scenes reminiscent of the 70s in Northern Ireland, armed soldiers patrolled the town’s Main St. when the Army Bomb Disposal Squad arrived from Athlone at approximately 1:30 pm.
The army robot was used to examine the device and after scrutiny, a bomb disposal officer in highly protective clothing carried out further tests. It was subsequently placed in a “bomb-proof” container and transported to Finner Camp for further examination.
One local resident who preferred not to be named said: “After all these years, is this what we are going back to?
“We have all witnessed death and carnage on in nearby Northern Ireland but I thought that this was all behind us.
“The people responsible for this outrage are nothing but scum-to place a bomb within striking distance of the local church and on the route to the two main schools where hundreds of young children would have been shows their total lack of respect for human life and democracy.
“These people will not be tolerated in our community.”