Russian Mortar Launcher Seized at Dublin Port

PORT AUTHORITIES in Ireland have seized a Russian-made mortar launcher at Dublin port, causing the Irish capital’s docks to issue a security alert.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, customs officials discovered a decommissioned Russian-manufactured mortar launcher in an Eastern European registered van entering the country.

The female driver, who is not an Irish national and claims to be a courier, was arrested as the Army Bomb Disposal Unit was deployed to investigate the weapon. A security alert was placed on Dublin Port until the specialists concluded that the mortar launcher was not a danger.

It is understood that the 82mm KRH 36Y mortar launcher was destined for a private collector in Northern Ireland, where the threat of paramilitary action is currently at ‘Severe’ – meaning a possible attack is ”highly likely but not imminent”.

However, Gardai (Irish police) are currently satisfied that the weapon was not intended for criminal or subversive use, and although the female courier is likely to face prosecution authorities have conceded that collecting such weapons is moderately common in the East of Europe.

Dublin detectives are investigating the case alongside Northern Ireland’s PSNI, and criminal charges are likely as importing or possessing a mortar launcher is illegal on both sides of the Irish border even if the weapon is decommissioned.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...