SYDNEY, May 13, 2014 – Australian team Orica-Greenedge says it would
be “a very, very sad day” if a car bomb found in Dublin hours before a stage
of the Giro d’Italia was targeted at the cycling race.
Irish police on Monday said they arrested a man after the bomb, reportedly
containing 50 pounds (22 kilograms) of explosives made from fertiliser, was
found in a Northern Ireland-registered vehicle in a hotel car park on Saturday
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion fell on
dissident republican groups opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland.
“If it was intended for the Giro, it’s very sad when any group uses sport
to get their political message — or whatever their message is — across,”
Orica-Greenedge sport director Matt White told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Sport does unite a lot of people. We are not here on any religious
cause… It’s a very, very sad day if that was the intended use for the bomb.”
Young Australian Michael Matthews from the Orica-Greenedge team currently
holds the pink jersey of overall Giro leader.
White said the team only learned of the bomb just before they left the
Irish capital, the day after Sunday’s third stage was won by German Marcel
“The boys all got a bit of a shock when they read about it on their iPhones
this morning on the plane. But there is no need to make a big fuss about it,”
“It’s disturbing, but we didn’t find out about it until we left this
morning (Monday). We won’t dwell on the fact, that’s for sure.”
Tens of thousands of people lined the route in Dublin on Sunday to cheer on
the cyclists, with millions more watching on television around the world.
The bomb scare came amid heightened tensions in Northern Ireland following
the arrest and later release this month of Gerry Adams, the leader of the
republican Sinn Fein party, over a notorious IRA murder.
Around 3,500 people died in three decades of violence between Protestants
favouring continued union of Northern Ireland with Britain, and Catholics
seeking a unified Ireland.