Athlone reeling after head shop bomb scare

By John Doe · Mar 12, 2010 · Updated Mar 12, 2010 · ·
  1. John Doe
    Athlone reeling after head shop bomb scare.

    Gardai in Athlone are examining CCTV footage and conducting door-to-door enquiries following the discovery of two viable devices at head shops in the town on Wednesday.

    The Army’s bomb disposal unit was called to Athlone on Wednesday morning after Gardai were alerted to the presence of suspicious devices outside head shops at Sean Costello Street and Irishtown on Wednesday morning.

    While early reports suggested the devices were hoaxes, the Army soon revealed that the two objects were viable improvised explosive devices, meaning they contained explosive content, shrapnel content, and a fuse.

    The devices were removed to a safe location by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, where they were made safe before being handed over to the Gardai. The remains of the devices have been undergoing forensic examination at Garda headquarters in the Phoenix Park.

    Wednesday morning’s frightening discovery set in motion an extensive Garda operation which saw up to 200 people evacuated from businesses and private residences in the Mardyke Street, Sean Costello Street, and Irishtown areas. Streets were cleared and sealed off and traffic diverted away from the town centre as the devices were made safe.

    The alarm was raised at approximately 9.30am on Wednesday, when staff opening up the shops noticed the suspicious devices outside their premises.

    By 10.20am the Army Bomb Disposal team had arrived, and the devices had been removed and the scene declared safe by 11.25am.

    The constituency office of Senator Nicky McFadden was among the premises to be evacuated during Wednesday’s scare. Yesterday she condemned the attacks and called on the public to cooperate with Garda investigations.

    “This was a threat to civil society, and life could have been lost. People shouldn’t take the law into their own hands. I spoke in the Seanad yesterday during a debate on head shops and called on Minister Curran to close down head shops,” said Senator McFadden.

    “It is incumbent on us to make young people aware that just because the products sold in these shops are legal does not mean they are safe.”

    The Athlone Drug Awareness group held a public meeting yesterday [Thursday] evening in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel about the products sold in head shops.

    Chairperson of the group, Cllr Frankie Keena, was unavailable to comment on Wednesday’s events.

    Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the vicinity of the shops, or who has any information which may be useful to Gardai, is asked to contact Athlone Garda Station at (090) 6494033 or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.

    Full article:

    Kilkenny Advertiser, March 12, 2010.

    (Sorry if this is the wrong forum!)

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  1. John Doe
    I heard an interesting angle today about these attacks on the Head Shops as of late. There is a school of thought which is fingering the RIRA (Real IRA) or PIRA for these acts of violence. The reasoning is that with Decommissioning and Power Sharing in Northern Ireland and the recession leaving their pockets empty for a number of reasons these days the IRA types have no cause and no following so they're offering 'vigilante for rent' services around the country.

    There were some bomb scares in a neighbouring town lately which were being targeted at a [Real] Estate Agent who was reselling repossessed homes, imagine that, doing his job like.

    Anyway, my point is that bombs are a relatively new and strange phenomena in small towns such as these in this little corner of the world. Dublin and certain parts of Northern Ireland have seen a bomb or two but that was alien to the rest of the country. Until now.

    All of the incidents involving head shops lately to me seem way too heavy handed to be any of the three groups of people already being unofficially blamed for these atrocious acts of violence. Those groups being

    1. Disgruntled Parents
    2. Disgruntled Customers ( < 18 / Skag Heads )
    3. Drug Dealers
  2. joebhoy
    It's not the IRA, jesus the PIRA are gone yet still getting blamed for things :laugh:

    I'm from Athlone myself heard it was drug dealers don't know for sure though. There was one burnt down in Silo two men aged 21 and 31 I think were arrested so I'd like to find out why they did it!
  3. bubbly nubs
    Bloody hell! If I owned a headshop in Ireland, Id not open up shop ever again. This is getting out of hand. Lets hope this sort of behaviour doesn't make its way to the UK.
  4. John Doe
    SWIM lived in Athlone for a number of years and he still has very close ties to the town. He knows of a lot of dealers [skag and 'coke' are the only dealers who'd be pissed enough] and he doesn't know one that would be able to put any kind of explosive device together without killing themselves.

    Very weird anyway - why weren't they laying these bombs at the doors of those 'not so quiet' skag and coke dealers SWIM knows of before this legal high business? Ah that's right - after the marches after Veronica Guerin died it left the front page of the Sun and the Star so people forgot about it =P
  5. John Doe
    @porchy I just noticed you said 'the rest of the UK'. Let's just clarify the Republic of Ireland is not in the United Kingdom hehe ;)
  6. chinpokomaster
    Are these the roadside bongs that I've been hearing so much about on the news that are killing soldiers in Afghanistan?
  7. Nature Boy
    Fucks sake. Way to turn an article about vigilante terrorism into a moral piece on the dangers of legal highs. The way some of these are written, you would swear the newspapers want bombs to go off so mumsy's little kiddies don't drop something they don't like them dropping. Raise your own damn children. It is not and should not be the government's job.
  8. Coconut
    I am usually extremely reluctant to use the word "terrorism" because it is thrown around so much lately by people who haven't a fucking clue, but Nature Boy is correct: this is terrorism. The public - especially head shop owners - are now shitting themselves, afraid that they may fall victim to an explosive or petrol bomb thrown through their establishment's window. As such, they are psychologically malleable.

    Of course the media and the state are ensuring that nobody tries to defend the head shops against these scumbags. People are bowing to their cocercion by demanding that head shops are closed.

    I would really love to know who is behind these attacks. Psychotic parents? Organised crime? Republican paramilitaries with no lot in life anymore? Rogue lunatics in the Garda Síochána? Some kind of ultra-secret black op designed to make it politically viable for a complete ban on head shops? I think all theories are on the table right now.
  9. ianzombie
    Swim blames it on the boogie.

    Swim has a feeling there is a little bit more going on than meets the eye, he would not be surprised to hear a certain chain of stores know a bit more than they are letting on.
  10. John Doe
    Actually, there's a group on Facebook with a tidy number of followers in support of keeping the headshops open in direct oposition to the "shut headshops now" groups. From reading the topics I think it's ran by a Headshop owner who, gladly, seems to have his head about him and makes some good points.

    Funny you should mention that. SWIM was speaking to a resident of Roscommon, Ireland where the first and continuing protest outside the headshop is, and he informed SWIM that there are a handful of local members of An Garda Síochána taking part in the protest every day. That struck SWIM as more than a little strange for some reason.
  11. joebhoy
    Swim heard it was boys selling coke headshop doing them out of business.

    Will know soon anyways think they were caught on camera.
  12. John Doe
    SWIM has been known to still make most of his cocaine purchases in that area and can assure you, unless it's the Travellers who sell glucose with coke written on the bag to idiots it isn't any coke dealer from Athlone!
  13. Coconut
    Yeah, but my point is that reason and science are not given much of a voice through information media in Ireland. Joe Duffy and RTÉ still rule the majority of minds from the GAA-loving college student to the stiff old biddy who takes ten minutes to get onto a bus.

    Thank fuck for the Internet, I say; I just fear it won't be enough.
  14. John Doe
    Unfortunately very true words. I put on the two recent documentaries on headshops for my house mates just last night and as we watched them I couldn't help but boil with anger as almost once every minute or two there was misleading or downright false information and bullshit opinions of people who don't know their arse from their elbow being put on a pedestal as if it were fact. These documentaries are where the public have been getting their information and that frightens me. There is no place for debate with these programs, those of us in the know have no way to contend with that crap >.<

    Going a long way OT here but a couple of the things in the programs really strike me as mental.

    The guy who jumped off his balcony after taking shrooms, they kept a straight face when they said he started to run around like a lunatic 10 minutes after ingesting them. Am I the only one who thinks this is a wee bit short?

    Then the fuppin idiot they had on from Trinity who 'tested' the head shop drugs was hilarious. 90% of what she said was directly quoted from Falseapedia and then she had the nerve to call the guys manufacturing the new legal highs 'amateur scientists'? I laughed.

    I could go on and on but I'm just making myself angrier!
  15. Coconut
    You're right, so I feel we have to make our own platform to contest it. The only problem is a lack of real-world organisation, as opposed to the opposite side who are quite well-organised. It is hard to take legalisation advocates seriously because we are infiltrated by myriad clueless stoners and little scummers who are only interested in pills. This is why I think Drugs-Forum is the best starting point, because every Irish member who isn't a mercury member is intelligent and articulate.

    I agree, it does not make sense. I am sceptical that the mushrooms contributed much to his suicide at all. Nobody - except those who were present at the time - knows the full story of what happened, because almost every source seems to contradict another and selective pieces of evidence are left out.

    We should be channelling our anger into productive action; the worse things we can do is let it consume and turn us into bitter, burnt-out fringe activists, or use insults and emotion to attack prohibtionists.
  16. John Doe
    Unfortunately this is indeed our burden. SWIM is with you whole heartedly on the forum initiative, SWIM only wishes he'd found it sooner. SWIM has been using Erowid as his information resource for quite a number of years but the forums have the added benefit of allowing individual input from all sides of a debate and hopefully not having old information let rot as it's primary word.

    As is mentioned quite a bit here it sometimes feels like such an uphill struggle when the adversaries are so narrow minded and their source of information is so biased. Coupled with the fact that the Government in our country will do everything they say they won't and nothing they say they will on serious matters that concern them personally but when it comes to big issues such as drug legislation they follow the popularity contest.

    Here's to the forums, the future and being of the less misinformed foolhardy minority ;)

    [Sorry I didn't reply sooner I meant to but kept putting it off and I tend to read the forum from work (too) frequently (via a personal secure proxy!) and so tend to just keep posts in mind I want to reply to when I have time.]
  17. Erumelithil
    That's what SWIM would have thought, but the "certain chain" I think you're talking about doesn't have a shop in Athlone. There's 3 headshops in Athlone that SWIM know's of, and they're all pretty low key. Good prices and selections in 2 out of 3 of them though.

    SWIM has only met a few of the employees in the shops that were targeted, and they always came across as nice, friendly people. They were more helpful and talkative than anyone SWIM would meet behind a counter if he was going to buy a newspaper or a toaster.

    The thing that sickens me is that some asshole will read that article and be delighted that the people working in those shops could have been in an explosion.
    What's more dangerous, legal highs or the people who want rid of them?
  18. akack2
    public liabaility insurance has been withdrawn from many head shops in the last week or two by insurance providers because of the attacks.

    many shops will be closing shortly,revenue has also been visiting many stores.
  19. John Doe
    This could well have been the outcome the perpatrators had hoped for. What quicker way was there to make sure they were shut down legal or otherwise.
  20. akack2
    another shop had windows put in last night,think it was the new one in Clontarf
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