DUBLIN: A bomb was found near Dublin Monday night, ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s historic four-day visit in Ireland.
The Irish army rendered safe a viable improvised explosive device found on a bus in County Kildare late Monday night, The Guardian reported on Tuesday. The bomb was discovered in the luggage compartment of the vehicle at a bus stop on the outskirts of Maynooth. A controlled explosion was carried out close to a hotel and the scene was declared safe at 1.55 am. The remains of the device were handed over to the Gardai for investigation, said an Irish military spokesman.
Up to 4,000 people are involved in security for the four-day trip, which comes amid a rise in dissident republican violence, said Irish police.
The bomb discovery comes after a dissident republican terror alert brought parts of London to a standstill Monday. Some opposition to the royal visit has been voiced as dissident republican violence rises.
The British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron will join the Queen on Wednesday for part of her trip, highlighting the importance of the visit, and the foreign secretary, Mr William Hague, will accompany the royals throughout their stay as part of normal practice.
The bomb’s discovery threatened to overshadow the Queen’s visit, the first by a British monarch to the Republic of Ireland. The foreign office, however, said she will still travel to Dublin on Tuesday.
An unprecedented security operation, costing about 30 million Euros (26.2 million pounds), is in place to safeguard the Queen and Prince Phillip. It includes land, air and sea patrols and a “ring of steel” around the centre of the Irish capital, where the main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, has been closed to traffic.
The royal tour will take place in Dublin and the counties of Cork, Kildare and Tipperary.