A vigilant resident alerted gardaí to the suspect device found below the driver’s side of a parked Toyota Avensis in the Mervue Lawn estate in the Ballyvolane area of Cork at about 10pm on Sunday.
Gardaí sealed off the area and about 100 homes were evacuated for four hours as the bomb disposal team dealt with the device.
Several hundred people, including young children and elderly residents, were accommodated in St Oliver’s Church, which is located around the corner from the estate.
A 34-year-old man who was arrested at the scene is being detained under the provisions of Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act at Mayfield Garda Station. He can be held for up to three days.
An army bomb disposal expert who was injured while attempting to make the device safe has been released from Cork University Hospital.
The officer sustained minor injuries including cuts, bruises, and flash injuries.
Gardaí said they are appealing for witnesses and are conducting door-to-door enquiries, and following a wide range of other lines of inquiry.
It is understood the car did not belong to anyone on the street and so raised concerns. A man rang the gardaí after spotting someone interfering with the car.
After initial investigations, gardaí alerted the defence forces which immediately deployed the bomb disposal team.
They arrived on scene shortly before midnight and began an operation to make the device safe.
At about 12.45am, the team leader was lying close to the car in an attempt to get at the bomb when it went off.
Residents at the church said they heard a loud bang and saw plumes of smoke in the air.
The Defence Forces then deployed a second officer to the scene and the area was declared safe shortly after 2am.
The car was removed from the scene yesterday morning and a technical examination was carried out by gardaí.
Residents living close to the car were evacuated for a second time as it was being removed.