Car Bomb Defused at Giro d'Italia

50-pound fertilizer explosive put hundreds of thousands in danger

May 12, 2014
Outside Magazine
Spectators crowd the sidelines of the 2012 Giro d'Italia.

Spectators crowd the sidelines of the 2012 Giro d'Italia.    ...some guy/Flickr

Irish police defused a car bomb Saturday night 10 miles from the center of Dublin—within lethal distance of the Giro D'Italia bike race—after receiving an anonymous tip.

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

Hundreds of thousands of spectators flocked to Lucan, a South Dublin suburb, to watch the race, one of European cycling's three multiweek Grand Tours. 

"It cannot be ruled out that it may have been intended to disrupt the Giro d'Italia race," another source told the Belfast Telegraph. The minimum evacuation distance for a car bomb is just over a quarter mile.

The bomb, fashioned out of a milk churn and 50 pounds of fertilizer explosives, was found in a car with Northern Ireland plates in the Finnstown Country House hotel parking lot. In addition to the plates, police quickly linked the bomb to the Real Irish Republican Army, an offshoot of the century-old radical military organization, through its construction with a remotely detonating timer power unit.

Paul Williams of the Belfast Telegraph writes that a 50-year-old Dublin man with RIRA connections has been arrested. Northern Ireland says it believes the bomb was not intended for the Irish Republic, but rather for a target in Northern Ireland.

The bomb might have been intended for the Giro and its spectators, but hundreds of wedding guests staying at the Finnstown received the brunt of the fallout—they spent the night of the incident stranded outside.

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