Milk churn bomb found in Dublin during Giro

22kg fertiliser bomb made safe by army bomb disposal

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Police in Dublin have seized and disarmed a car bomb discovered just hours before the Giro d'Italia finished in the Irish capital, the Irish Independent has revealed.

The car apparently contained a 50lb milk churn bomb in a car park near the Finnstown Country House hotel in Lucan, to the west of the city. The bomb was made from fertiliser, armed and ready for use with a timer attached.

While the intended target remains unclear, the bomb was seized just hours before the third stage of the Giro d'Italia between Armagh and Dublin. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the race route and packed the centre of Dublin to see the race.

"This was a deadly, full-size bomb which had been wired up and ready for imminent use. If it had gone off it would have caused total devastation," a source told the Irish Independent.

The Irish Independent suggests that dissident republicans are suspected of transporting the device from Belfast to Dublin in recent days. It is believed the device was going to be moved from the Lucan car park to its intended target.

Security sources said that the device, made safe by an Army Bomb Squad, would have caused carnage if it had exploded. It is understood that a Dublin man who was later arrested has close links to the Real IRA. Irish police located the device after receiving a tip-off, and a major security operation was launched.

A security source revealed to the Irish Independent that dissident Republicans may have been planning an attack, in the hope that it would be blamed on another terrorist group.

"It cannot be ruled out that it may have been intended to disrupt the Giro d'Italia race. This would be a very dramatic escalation in the activities of dissident republicans," he added.

Following the three stages in Belfast and Dublin, the Giro d'Italia transfer by plane to Italy today. Racing resumes on Tuesday with stage 4 from Giovinazzo to Bari.

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