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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Garda station evacuated after elderly woman hands in 100-year-old explosive device she found in garage

Louise Walsh

Published 15/08/2014 | 11:23

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Gardai immediately moved the device to the station carpark in Trim and cordoned off a section of nearby Castle Street

A Meath garda station had to be evacuated on Thursday night after an elderly woman handed in a 100 year old explosive device she found during a clear-out of her garage.

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Gardai immediately moved the device to the station carpark in Trim and cordoned off a section of nearby Castle Street while waiting for the Army Bomb Disposal experts.

The drama unfolded at 10pm when the elderly resident walked into the station with the artillery shell which dates back to 1915. It's believed she was aware she had the live round but had forgotten about it until discovering it in the clear-out.

Army experts removed the device for examination and expected it to be destroyed yesterday (Friday) afternoon.

Although the anti-tank ammunition was "quite degraded and corroded,"

it still contained explosive content, according to Commandant Sean O'Fatharta from the Defence Forces Press Office.

He said: "The device was a ten-inch long artillery sell which would have been placed in cannons to fire at tanks or vehicles in 1915 or 1916. This type of ammunition was used by the army here until the 1930s.

"Although the risk was probably slim,  the device was unstruck and still contained explosive content."

However in a public health message, Comdt O'Fatharta warned people "not to take anything for granted". "If you come across any device and you have any concerns, don't move it and contact the gardai immediately."

The incident in Trim was the second time this month that a device forced the evacuation of a garda station.  Army bomb disposal experts were called to Togher Garda Station when a member of the public handed in a suspect device, believed to be a pipe bomb.

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