A police informer linked to the Omagh bombings was the victim of a target bomb attack in the Meath town of Navan.
Paddy Dixon was targeted by dissident Republicans because he supplied vital information to the Irish police about the 1998 Real IRA bomb attack on Omagh that killed 29 people.
The 48-year-old was injured when a booby trap pipe bomb exploded as he answered the door at his home in the Johnstown area of Navan.
Police sources have confirmed that the device was ‘sophisticated and designed to kill’.
The Irish Times reports that the device was hung on the hall door and was detonated by a piece of string or wire that had been set up to pull a triggering mechanism when the door was opened.
Police sources also believe that Dixon set-off the bomb when he opened the door and triggered the device when he moved suddenly after realizing something was wrong.
Thousands walk for peace in Omagh, Northern Ireland
His injuries were described as superficial but police are treating the attack as attempted murder.
Army bomb disposal experts have carried out an examination of the scene while a major investigation is underway involving the anti-terrorist Special Detective Unit and the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Ireland’s Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has asked to be briefed on the incident.
Dixon is alleged to have supplied vehicles to the Real IRA ahead of the Omagh attack and families of the victims and a British MP have criticized the Irish government for not pursuing him for his alleged role in the bombing.
Having previously lived on the continent, Dixon moved to Navan four years ago and Irish police are concerned that he was under surveillance by a Real IRA death squad.
Dixon had supplied stolen cars to the Real IRA in the 1990s. However, he was also a Garda informer at the time and was supplying information to the Garda on the Real IRA which led to the arrests of members of that group and the thwarting of terrorist attacks in the North.
The Morris Tribunal found that his police handler Det Sgt John White had fabricated evidence in cases against members of the travelling community.
The Irish Times reports that it has been claimed Dixon supplied information to police specifically about vehicles used in the Omagh bombing, but that these vehicles were allowed to cross the Border into Northern Ireland in a bungled effort to protect Dixon’s identity as an informer.