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Fear and relief in victim's Irish American neighborhood

Aiden McGurk, the father of accused Queens murderer Gary McGurk, was one of the two infamous "Sleeping Bombers" who were caught red-handed in the Irish Republic in 1981 while trying to ambush the British Army.

McGurk and another man, James McGinley, had fallen asleep on a hill on the southern side of the border while waiting to ambush British troops. The hilltop would have given them a clear view of the road on the other side of the border.

They were waiting to set off a tripwire, which was attached to a 500-pound bomb packed in four beer kegs and a butter churn.

The arrest was the result of co-operation between the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) and the Irish Gardai (police) who had joined forces to catch the two men.

The duo had been seen planting the device on the northern side of the border, and a local resident contacted the RUC, who in turn contacted the Irish Gardai who seized the two men while they slept.
Speaking at the time, an Army spokesman said: "'It is very gratifying to see cooperation between them (RUC and the Irish police) working so well, and it was smart work by the Irish police.'

The two were charged in a special non-jury Dublin court with possession of explosives and membership in the outlawed Irish Republican Army.