Hoax calls to bomb squad are already up on last year

The bomb squad arriving at Fair Gate housing estate, Balycanew, Gorey where a device was reported under the car of Fiona Doyle

Ryan Nugent

MORE false alarms and hoax calls of bomb threats have been made to the Defence Forces so far this year than the whole of 2014.

A bomb scare caused chaos in the city last week, disrupting train lines between Tara Street and Pearse Street stations for more than two hours, only to be later declared a hoax after a controlled explosion was carried out by the bomb squad.

Figures released to the Herald show that of the 85 call-outs to the Army Bomb Disposal Team in 2015, 34 of them have been false alarms or hoax calls - six more than the whole of last year.

Just under a third of all call-outs have come in Dublin (28), five of which were viable Improvised Explosive Device (IED) call-outs.

Reports of IEDs in the capital have come from Tallaght, Coolock, Phibsboro, Ballymun and Newcastle in 2015.

The breakdown for 2015 so far across Ireland shows that of the 85 call-outs, 22 were viable IEDs, 23 were conventional munitions and a further six were chemical and pyrotechnics.

The rest were made up of false alarms and hoaxes.

A spokesman for the Defence Forces told the Herald that there is a strict protocol when it comes to call-outs.


"If someone suspects a dangerous device, they report it to gardai, who will then investigate the incident," they said.

"If the gardai decide they aren't able to deal with it themselves, they will contact Garda HQ who will then contact the HQ of the Defence Forces."

The Defence Forces have regional bomb disposal teams throughout the country but don't release details of their locations due to previous attempts to disrupt their routes to the location of a possible explosive device.

Call-outs for 2015 so far are averaging at two more every month compared with 2014, but are significantly lower than figures for 2013, where there were 21 call-outs each month.