By Cormac O'Keeffe
Detectives are investigating if the discovery of a viable explosive device in a Louth pub is connected with another incident at the same bar two years ago.
It also emerged yesterday that the device may have been at the premises in Drogheda for at least a day before gardaí were alerted to it.
It is understood the device was brought to the attention of staff at the pub on Cord Road by a customer.
A decision was taken some time after 9pm on Tuesday to contact the Gardaí, who, in turn, called in the Army bomb squad.
An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team was dispatched to the pub, which arrived at around 11.40pm last night.
Customers and residents, including on adjacent streets, had already been evacuated.
The Defence Forces said that, following an assessment, the device was made safe at the scene.
It was removed for further examination at a secure military location and found to be a viable device.
Material of an evidential nature was handed back to gardaí for investigation.
The same pub was targeted two years ago when an anonymous call was made to both the Gardaí and the PSNI saying there was an explosive device there.
A search was carried out at the time, but nothing was found.
Detectives are investigating if the incidents are linked and if they form part of some type of personal grudge. They are following a line of inquiry.
They will conduct interviews with relevant people to try and determine who might have been behind the device.
Sources said they would be concerned at the seeming escalation from an anonymous call to a viable device, if the incidents are linked.
- Irish Examiner and digital desk