Gardai investigate hoax bomb threat at HSE office in Limerick

Gardai investigate hoax bomb threat at HSE office in Limerick

Gardai are investigating a bomb threat at HSE offices, situated on the grounds of the former St Joseph's Psychiatric Hospital, Limerick city writes David Raleigh.

A caller telephoned the offices Thursday morning, informing staff there would be "an explosion at 11am", said Bernard Gloster, HSE Mid West Area Manager.

Mr Gloster said, both the HSE and the gardai were "100% satisfied" that the threat was not linked to bomb scares made over a week ago at various locations in Ireland and England.

On May 24th last, a series of automated bomb threats were received at garda stations and schools in Limerick, Dublin, Cork, Carlow, and Waterford.

A separate "copycat" incident occurred in Limerick on May 25, when a female contacted Henry Street Garda Station informing officers there was "a bomb in a bank" on O'Connell Street.

All of the incidents were hoax alerts.

Bernard Gloster said the HSE understood this morning's hoax call was made by a user of the HSE services in Limerick.

"We have had discussions with the Gardai and we are satisfied, based on all of the information we have received, that this is not linked to the very unfortunate trend of hoax calls that visited Limerick in recent times," Mr Gloster said.

The bomb threat was made "in one of the offices linked to a (HSE) call centre that there would be a threat of an explosion at 11am in that building," Mr Gloster added.

The HSE spokesman said Gardai were "given control of the site" and that nothing sinister was found after a search was carried out.

"We evacuated staff out of the building but we were able to restore normal operations at 11.15am," he said.

Mr Gloster said he believed the bomb threat was "very specific to the health services".

He described the incident as "very very unsettling" for staff working in the office.

"It was very disruptive, particularly so in a hospital because the staff have very important and very critical roles."

"It was disruptive for people who couldn't contact our staff on the phones while they were out of the building," Mr Gloster added.

He said Gardai we following "a definite line of enquiry".

Following last week's hoax alerts, Limerick Garda Superintendent Derek Smart, Henry Street, warned such calls to the Gardai resulted in "crucial resources" been "wasted".

"It also puts people working in these buildings under severe stress and strain when they're told there's a bomb," he said.

"We're treating it very seriously...we will do everything in our power to catch whoever is behind these calls," Supt Smart added.


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