A fake bomb was left outside the home of a prominent Irish crime reporter on Friday, and bomb experts were called in to dismantle it.
Paul Williams, crime correspondent of the Sunday World tabloid, was not home at the time. He is the author of several books describing key figures in Ireland’s criminal underworld, and has been the target of threats and at least one other attack.
Neighbors spotted the suspicious object and called police. Thirty-seven people in surrounding homes were evacuated while a remote-controlled robot destroyed the package, which contained wires, batteries, putty and a circuit board, but no explosives.
In the past year, acid has been poured over Williams’ car and he has received occasional police protection after receiving unspecified threats.
Another of Ireland’s high-profile crime reporters, Veronica Guerin, was assassinated by a gunman as she sat behind the wheel of her car in June 1996. Two men were later convicted of Guerin’s murder and the drug-trafficking gang that targeted her fell apart, but police say other gangs have risen in its place.
Cate Blanchett plays the reporter in Veronica Guerin, a film about the Irish reporter currently in theaters.