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Parcel at Limerick sorting office linked to 'IRA' suspect packages

22 Mar 2019, 16:14 ... s-1580384/

A package found at an Irish postal depot could be linked to a series of parcel bombs sent to Great Britain, the Republic's justice minister has said.

Charlie Flanagan said a stamp on the suspicious package found in a postal sorting office in Limerick was similar to those used on letter bombs sent to the UK earlier this month.

He told RTÉ: "This is a despicable act. The sending of incendiary devices like this is totally unacceptable. I hope the people responsible are brought to justice."

A group calling itself the IRA has claimed responsibility for parcel bombs sent to major transport hubs in London and the University of Glasgow.

The organisation, known to police as the New IRA, claimed one parcel addressed to a British Army recruitment officer may not have been discovered yet.

The group said it posted five devices to addresses in Britain, however only four had been discovered at the time the claim of responsibility was sent to a Belfast newsroom.

Mr Flanagan said the item found in Limerick could be the fifth.

"We have reason to believe this could be the case," he said.

The packages that arrived at Waterloo railway station and offices at Heathrow and London City airports on March 5 and 6 were posted with Irish stamps and had Dublin as the return address, prompting Irish police to join the investigation.

The stamps appeared to be those issued by the Irish postal service for Valentine's Day 2018, featuring a heart motif and the words "Love Eire N".

The senders' addresses were given as Dublin, with two having added coach operator Bus Eireann.

Police Scotland said a controlled explosion was carried out as a precaution on a suspicious package found in the mailroom at Glasgow University, after several buildings had been evacuated.

All packages were A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags and appeared capable of igniting a small fire when opened.

No-one was injured in any of the incidents in Britain.

On Friday, a Garda spokesman said: "Shortly after 6am, Gardai in Henry Street received a report of a suspect package at the An Post sorting office, Dock Road, Co Limerick.

"The building has been evacuated and the army EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) team have been notified."

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