Fine Gael Deputy for Sligo/North Leitrim, Tony McLoughlin TD, has sought assurances from the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, in view of the recent increase in the number of explosive devices, such as pipe bombs, being found in Co Leitrim.
The matter, raised in the Dáil last week came following the arrest and charging of a 22 year old man in relation to a serach of a vehicle in the Glenfarne area. During the search ammunition, a gun and two viable pipe bombs were recovered.
A second man, who was arrested and questioned in relation to the incident, has been released and a file is now being prepared for the DPP.
Responding to Deputy McLoughlin, Minister Frances Fitzgerald noted: “There are substantial Garda operations in place to tackle the use of IEDs with operational strategies very firmly focused on disrupting the use of IEDs (pipe bombs) and bringing those involved before the Courts.
The Minister pointed out that Operation Enchant is the ongoing national Garda the operation which coordinates investigations into the manufacture, supply and deployment of IEDs.
“Operation Enchant incorporates a co-ordination unit comprising personnel from the Special Detective Unit, Organised Crime Unit and Garda National Drugs Unit,” she explained.
“This unit works closely with each Senior Investigating Officer in relation to each IED incident and also with the Garda Technical Bureau. The unit also works closely with the Garda Analysis Service and the National Criminal Intelligence Unit amongst others and assists local investigators in their investigations including, where appropriate, interviewing arrested persons and conducting searches.”
Minister Fitzgerald said that she had spoken with Garda authorities in relation to this query and she pointed out that the number of recorded incidents associated with Operation Enchant for Co Leitrim comprises less than one percent of the national total.
“I can assure the Deputy that all incidents involving IEDs are treated as a priority and investigated thoroughly by the Garda authorities,” she said in conclusion.