File photo of Irish Army Bomb Disposal Unit
The Civil War mortar bomb that was discovered in Ballymore Eustace last weekend, had become embedded in an old sycamore tree as the years went by, revealed a professional tree care specialist.
Donal O’Sullivan of Goodfellers Tree Care was cutting down the tree when he found the device, where the tree had grown around it. He said they were lucky it didn't go off when the tree was taken down.
“If it went off, it would have killed anyone within 25 metres and done serious damage within 50 metres,” he told the Leader.
He said he immediately called the gardai who then brought in the army bomb squad. He said he had never come across anything like that before.
Parts of Ballymore Eustace were shut down and homes evacuated last Saturday evening, March 10 after a Civil War mortar was found during the tree cutting operation.
The army bomb disposal team arrived on the scene at Broadleas at 6.20pm and made the device safe and removed the old civil war era munition from the area.
Mr O'Sullivan said they put the mortar bomb in a big hole and detonated it.
To ensure public safety, a number of houses were evacuated and a cordon was put in place for the duration of the operation. The scene was declared safe at 7.40pm.
“Should members of the public encounter such munitions they are advised to maintain a safe distance and inform An Garda Síochána,” said the Defence Forces press office.