MEMBERS of the army bomb disposal unit in Cork had to make two trips to Clare this week to inspect suspect devices found in Lahinch and Tulla.
One of the devices, a viable pipe bomb, was discovered during a garda search of a house at Main Street, Tulla on Tuesday night. Described as not very elaborate, it was discovered concealed in a bedroom, as part of follow-up searches arising from the arrest of two men at Ballyblood, Tulla earlier that day.
Gardaí believe the pipe bomb was “experimental” in nature and a motive and intent has not been established in relation to the device.
Gardaí confirmed to The Clare Champion that two men were arrested after their car was stopped by gardaí on routine patrol. They were detained at Killaloe Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, after a search of their vehicle uncovered drug paraphernalia and shotgun cartridges.
The pipe bomb was found during follow-up searches of two premises in the East Clare area.
The two men, one of whom is a juvenile, had not been charged at the time of going to press and continued to be detained by gardaí for questioning at Killaloe Garda Station.
A unit of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team was called to attend the scene on Tuesday night and they were able to make the pipe bomb safe without the need to carry out a controlled explosion.
Gardaí evacuated nearby residents and cordoned off the area for several hours.
Meanwhile, the second device, an old and rusty industrial gas cylinder, washed in from the sea was found on Lahinch beach on Thursday afternoon of last week.
It was spotted by a tourist and the gardaí in Ennistymon were alerted.
Laneways to the beach were cordoned off and onlookers were kept a safe distance from the scene.
Members of the EOD unit dealt with the 5ft-long cylinder on Friday at low tide. It was deemed not to be a viable device and was subsequently removed from the beach.