By David Raleigh
A man has been arrested after gardaí found a "viable" bomb in a car on the grounds of a garda station this morning.
According to reliable garda sources the man was arrested by members of the Limerick Divisional Drugs Unit who carried out a routine stop and search of the vehicle in the city centre late last night.
The driver of the car -- who is known to gardaí -- was arrested on suspicion of committing an offence and the car was brought to a compound, located at the rear of Henry Street garda station.
When asked about the incident, Superintendent Derek Smart, Henry Street, confirmed that gardaí discovered an explosive device inside the car when officers carried out a search of the vehicle at the compound.
Superintendent Smart said the garda station was "not evacuated" and that gardaí did not close off any streets surrounding the station.
"There was no evacuation," he added.
Gardaí requested the help of the Defences Forces Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit, based in Cork, which arrived in Limerick around 1.30am.
Superintendent Smart said the device was viable.
He added the EOD unit did not carry out a controlled explosion and that the device was made safe and then handed over to gardaí.
The scene was declared safe around 4am this morning.
A 25-year old man is being questioned about the bomb under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act at Henry Street station.
"We have a prisoner in custody. A search of the car located a suspicious object. The car had been secured in the back of Henry Street garda station and the object was deemed to be a viable device," Supt Smart said.
"The EOD unit made (the device) safe, and it will go to garda headquarters for analysis."
A Defence Forces statement said its "Bomb Disposal Team made safe an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in the Henry St area of Limerick early this morning.
"The Defence Forces deployed the Bomb Disposal Team on request from An Garda Síochána.
"The Bomb Disposal Team arrived on scene at 1.30am, carried out an assessment and proceeded to make the IED safe. The scene was declared safe at 4am."
"The device was removed to a secure military installation for further examination. Material of an evidential nature has been handed over to An Garda Síochána to assist with their investigations."
The Defence Forces said its bomb disposal units "have responded to 12 requests and made safe five viable Improvised Explosive Devices so far this year.
"EOD deal with other types of call-outs such as conventional munition, destruction of old grenades discovered by members of the public, unstable chemicals and also suspect devices found to be hoaxes."