The Defence Forces deployed its Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team to the Longford town area twice in 48 hours last week.
Army explosive experts were first called to the area on Wednesday evening last after a suspect device was discovered near the Dublin-Sligo road at Shroid, east of Longford town.
“The Defence Forces deployed the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team on request from An Garda Síochána, after a suspect device was found by a member of the public outside a private residence beside the N4. A cordon was established and traffic was re-directed away from the scene,” a spokesperson for the military said in a statement.
“The EOD team arrived on scene at 5:28pm. The device was then taken to a secure military location for further examination where it was confirmed as viable. The scene was declared safe at 5:55 pm.
“Items of an evidential nature will be handed over to the Gardaí to assist them with their investigation,” the spokesperson concluded.
Then on Friday afternoon the bomb disposal unit was called back to Longford after an improvised shotgun was found at Ballymacormack Cemetery at approximately midday.
“[An] EOD team attended the scene and a device was made safe. No persons were injured and the matter is under investigation, “ said a Garda spokesperson.
Speaking to the Longford Leader this week, Superintendent Fergus Treanor said a connection between the two incidents has not been ruled out.
“No link has yet been established but it’s a line of enquiry we’re looking into,” he said.
“It’s of major concern that a device was left at the side of a main road with the intent to cause harm.
“We’re also concerned as to why a firearm was left in a graveyard.”
Superintendent Treanor went on to say he was not aware of raised tensions between rival groups in the area but “the fact two items were found within such a short space of time” was worrying.
Longford County Councillor John Browne (FG) labelled the discovery of the devices as “outrageous”.
“The town and the county is getting a bad name because of this,” he said. “It’s not the first time, either. In recent times other devices have been disarmed on the Dublin Road and in Edgeworthstown.”