No jail for Tallaght man found with pipe bomb down his pants

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A 35-year-old Dublin man who said he had been set up when gardai found a pipe bomb down his tracksuit pants has received a two-year suspended jail sentence.

Francis Whelan of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a pipe bomb in the Killinarden Heights area of  Tallaght on October 13, 2012.

Whelan told gardai he was set up by an acquaintance earlier that day and he claimed he didn’t know the item placed in his tracksuit bottoms was a pipe bomb.

He said he carried the item for a reward of €100 worth of cannabis.

John Quirke BL, prosecuting, told Judge Melanie Greally that the pipe bomb found was deemed to be a viable explosive that could have serious consequences.

Dean Kelly BL, defending, told the court that Whelan has positively participated in the St Dominic’s community-based project in Tallaght and he has not come to police attention since the incident.

Judge Greally said that pipe bombs can have ‘extreme and horrifying results’ in many cases.

She told Whelan that the probation services report had described him as ‘somewhat apathetic’ in his attitude.

‘You need to shake yourself up, lose the apathy and it’s time to make productive and constructive moves in your life,’ said Judge Greally.

The court suspended the sentence on condition Whelan engage with addiction support services and undergo regular drug testing. Whelan has nine previous convictions and a history of opiate abuse.