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Trim pipe bomb may have been protest at Queen's visit

Minsiter for Justice Alan Shatter says a pipe bomb thrown at the Duke of Wellington monument may have been a protest.

The monument to the Duke of Wellington at Trim in Co Meath, the site of an apparent pipe bomb attack last month.
The monument to the Duke of Wellington at Trim in Co Meath, the site of an apparent pipe bomb attack last month.
Image: Google Maps

JUSTICE MINISTER Alan Shatter has told the Dáil that a pipe bomb thrown at a monument to the Duke of Wellington at Trim in Co Meath may have been a response to the visit of Queen Elizabeth.

The explosive device was thrown at the monument, which lies just outside the centre of the heritage town, shortly after 1am in the morning of April 21. No damage was caused to the monument aside from some scorch marks, however.

An Army explosive ordinance device team examined the remains of the device to confirm its viability, but nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, Shatter told the Dáil.

“I cannot state categorically who was responsible for this particular incident. It is quite possible, but not certain, that it may have been some sort of atavistic response to the announcement that Queen Elizabeth is to visit the country later this month,” the minister said.

Shatter insisted, however, that any opposition to the Queen’s visit came from “a tiny minority” of Irish people, and said the visit was a “testament to our maturity as a nation”.

Shatter was being pressed by Fine Gael deputy Ray Butler – who is based in Trim – on security arrangements for the visits of the Queen and President Obama – who will visit Ireland within a week of each other later this month.

“An Garda Síochána, with the support of the Defence Forces, will continue to make all the necessary arrangements to make sure the appropriate level of security is in place for both visits,” he said.

I have the utmost confidence in the Commissioner and his officers, who I know are totally committed to ensuring that these events pass off without incident.

Shatter declined to go into detail about some of the arrangements being made, saying it would be counterproductive to do so.

This morning Tánaiste and foreign affairs minister Eamon Gilmore told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland he was confident that both visits would be successful, saying that Gardaí in Ireland had “considerable experience” in liaising with their British and American counterparts.

While the government was concerned about the activities of dissident republicans, he was confident that any threat posed by their actions could be dealt with.

The Wellington Monument in Trim dates from 1817, when it was built in honour of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and later a two-term Prime Minister.

The Wellesley family owned much of the town, and Wellesley’s first appointment to the House of Commons was as MP for Trim.

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Gavan Reilly

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