Monday 23 September 2019

Station shut for hours by find of old explosives

Gardaí and Army bomb disposal team members at Connolly Station after workers found explosives. Photo: Mark Condren
Gardaí and Army bomb disposal team members at Connolly Station after workers found explosives. Photo: Mark Condren
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Irish Rail workers uncovered a box of explosives while clearing out an old storage unit under the railway line at Connolly Station, Dublin, yesterday.

The alarm was raised around midday and the station was evacuated along with several offices nearby.

Gardaí and the Army Bomb Disposal Unit attended the scene and the explosives were made safe. Several offices nearby were also evacuated and Sheriff Street Lower was also cordoned off while the operation was ongoing.

"The alarm was raised at around midday and we first closed platforms one and two at 12.05pm as gardaí were contacted. Then we evacuated the station at 12.20am to ensure everyone's safety," said Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny.

The discovery of the explosives was made when one of the many storage units within the arches under the railway line at Sheriff Street was being emptied by staff. The explosives were described as commercial in nature and had been stored in the unit for a long time, possibly years.

Some of the storage units are rented out to businesses by Irish Rail but it was not immediately known how the explosives got there or who had stored them.

Dart and commuter trains which operate through Connolly to other stations such as Maynooth and Drogheda continued to run but did not stop at Connolly for almost two hours.

The Rosslare service operated from Pearse Station during the incident. The Belfast service ran to and from Malahide with connections to the Dart line, and the Sligo service ran to and from Maynooth.

Luas trams also avoided stopping at Connolly Station due to the security alert.

Shortly after 2.30pm, the all-clear was given and the station reopened and services resumed.

The Army later issued a statement confirming a bomb squad attended at the scene.

"The explosives were made safe at the scene and removed to a secure military installation for disposal."

Meanwhile, gardaí confirmed a bomb disposal team also attended at Dublin Airport yesterday following a security alert that took place on Sunday.

"A suspicious substance was discovered on Sunday at our security screening through a normal security check on departing passengers. All procedures were followed and gardaí were alerted," said a statement from Dublin Airport. "The passengers were permitted to continue their journey following an interview with gardaí."

Irish Independent

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