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Sinister call Jailed rapist questioned by gardaí over hoax bomb threat to Justice Minister

A caller had phoned the Samaritans helpline claiming that a bomb had been placed at Ms McEntee’s home, but following searches the call was declared a hoax.

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Justice Minister Helen McEntee

Justice Minister Helen McEntee

Justice Minister Helen McEntee

Gardaí are investigating if a convicted rapist issued a bogus bomb threat to Justice Minister Helen McEntee from his prison cell.

The jailed rapist has been arrested by detectives in relation to a threatening phone call targeting Ms McEntee last month.

A caller had phoned the Samaritans helpline claiming that a bomb had been placed at Ms McEntee’s home, but following searches the call was declared a hoax.

Gardaí investigating the sinister threat have since arrested a convicted rapist as part of their inquiries.

It’s understood he was identified as a suspect in the probe after the phone number used to make the bogus call was analysed by specialist gardaí.

The man, aged in his late 40s, was arrested by Meath gardaí in the Midlands prison on March 26 and brought to Portlaoise garda station nearby.

Detectives believe he used an illegal phone to call the Samaritans helpline from his prison cell before issuing the threats to the Justice Minister.

The rapist, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was quizzed for a number of hours before being released without charge.

A file will now be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in relation to the matter.

A Garda spokeswoman said they do not comment on security matters while the Irish Prison Service (IPS) said they cannot comment as the matter is being investigated by gardaí.

The call was initially made to the Samaritans charity on March 7, who in turn contacted gardaí with details of the threats.

Local officers rushed to Ms McEntee’s Meath home but no device was found after the detailed search.

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The incident last month was the latest in which a high-profile public figure was subjected to a hoax threat.

Ms McEntee is among the most senior Cabinet members and one of her key roles is being briefed on urgent security matters by the Garda Commissioner.

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