RESIDENTS at a housing estate in Letterkenny have spoke of the ‘terror, panic and bewilderment’ they experienced after an explosives device, placed under a jeep, exploded within yards of their homes in the early hours of this morning (Friday).
The sophisicated device was placed under a four x four Mitsubishi Pajero jeep, in front of a house, at around 3.30 am at the Manor View estate in the Long Lane area of the town.
The jeep was not occupied at the time and the owner, and his family, who live in adjacent house were not injured.
Army bomb disposal experts from Finner Camp inspected the scene on Friday. They established there was no ‘secondary devices’ and the area was declared safe, allowing fourteen families, including young children and elderly to return to their homes.
Residents were awoken after hearing a ‘loud bang’ in their quiet residential estate. Initially, they thought it was a gunshot but after garda investigations it was confirmed a booby trap type device had been planted underneath the vehicle.
Up to 14 families, including young children and elderly residents were immediately evacuated after the explosion and sought refuge with other family members and and friends in the area. One local woman spoke of the terror following the attack.
“The wee boy heard a loud bang at around 3.29am. He got up and was petrified- and freaked out,” she said.
“My twelve-year-old daughter who sleeps in the back bedroom was also shocked- it was scary and there was a sense of panic among the residents as we were evacauted,” she said.
Speaking to the Donegal News Garda Inspector Goretti Sheridan, would not be drawn on a possible motive for the attack. However, she confirmed a number of lines of enquiry were being explored. Local reports suggest it could have been linked to a bitter family dispute.
Gardai are appealing for information after a silver coloured car was seen leaving the area shortly before the explosion.
Damage was contained to the underside of the vehicle. The two front tyres were blown off the vehicle and the front of the jeep was also damaged. Shratnel and other debris was orensically examined as part of the garda investigation.