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Wednesday, 10th January 2018

Explosive device was found in Sarsfield's, not McHugh's

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The Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Francis Street last night. Photo: Andy Spearman.

The explosive device last night was found in Sarsfields pub on the corner of Chord Road and Constitution Hill and not in McHugh's across the road as we reported earlier.

I was at the scene for an hour last night and all of the action was on Francis Street at the entrance to McHugh's back yard with Garda and Army personnel going in and out for all of that time - see our photos. 

At no time during that hour did I see any army or Garda personnel at or near Sarsfields. I therefore assumed that the device was in McHugh's. It has been suggested that they were just parked up in Francis Street, a safe distance from the device in Sarsfields, but it certainly didn't seem like that. 

According to Inspector John O'Flaherty of Drogheda Garda Station however the device was found in a toilet at Sarsfield's pub across the road at about 9.00 pm.

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The owner of McHugh's, TP McHugh, has confirmed to us that there was no device in his pub and he has no idea why the Gardai and Army were at his back gate until 1.00 am.

He told us that the Guards came into his pub shortly after 9.00pm asking him and his staff and customers to vacate the premises which they did.

Local Councillor Kevin Callan has commended Drogheda Gardai and the Defence Forces for their prompt and professional response to the incident.

“The efforts of the Gardai in taking no chances and protecting residents in the immediate area is very reassuring and shows the professional approach of the officers involved" he said.

"The fact that the Defence Forces have this morning confirmed the device was viable and explosive shows that the operation involving Gardai and the Army was prudent, necessary and arrived out perfectly.

"I am asking anyone with any information on what happened to make contact with Drogheda Gardai or the Garda Confidential line. This could have ended very differently and could have led to serious injury or worse”.

Andy Spearman.

Army bomb disposal personnel on Francis Street last night. Photo: Andy Spearman.


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