Thursday, 16 November 1972
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Enright: asked the Minister for Justice if he will make a statement on the bomb and incendiary devices in four hotels in Dublin and at Connolly Station on Saturday, 28th October, 1972; if he will outline the steps being taken to avoid such bomb attacks; and if it is possible to prevent these attacks.
Mr. Enright: asked the Minister for Justice if he will give details of the number of Garda personnel who are trained to detonate explosives; and if he will give an assurance that there are sufficient trained Garda personnel throughout the country in order to alleviate public anxiety in this connection.
Dr. O'Connell: asked the Minister for Justice if he will make a statement on the several incidents regarding the planting of incendiary devices in Dublin hotels on Saturday, 28th October, 1972, and the discovery  of a bomb in Connolly Station; and the steps the Garda are taking to ascertain the identity of those responsible.
Mr. M. O'Leary: asked the Minister for Justice whether the number of bomb threats received by business premises in the Republic has been on the increase; whether any special training in bomb detection is available to Garda; and whether any extra security measures are under consideration.
Mr. M. O'Leary: asked the Minister for Justice whether there has been any increase in the number of bomb threats received by business premises in Dublin areas in recent months; and whether any additional security advice has been given to business managements.
The recent incidents in Dublin to which reference is made in the questions are under investigation by the Garda and, as I have pointed out on previous occasions, it is not open to me to make statements about the progress of Garda investigations.
The number of bomb threats reported to the Garda in the Dublin Metropolitan Area in the period from 1st June to 23rd October, 1972, was 108 as compared with 132 in the corresponding period in the preceding year. The figures for the rest of the country were 16 and 13, respectively.
The Garda say that there has been an excellent response from the public in so far as keeping a special watch on business premises for incendiary or other destructive devices is concerned and in Dublin there is a liaison between the Garda, the Dublin Fire Brigade and the Army in the matter.
Mr. O'Malley: So far as I am aware there has been only one conviction in respect of these. Unfortunately, as the House will appreciate, activities of this nature are very difficult to pin down. In the one conviction there was, it was clear that the person concerned was not a member of any organisation, illegal or otherwise.
Mr. Desmond: Would there be any indication as to what one might call the level of the various threats, from the very limited information available to the Garda? Would they be of a political nature or from cranks, or otherwise?
Mr. O'Malley: I would say that 95 per cent, possibly more, are from cranks of one kind or another, usually disaffected persons who have some grudge against the person or organisation to whom the call is made.
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