THE Irish Coast Guard Team at Greenore discovered an artillery shell while carrying out a routine coastal search last week.
One of the Coast Guard search teams discovered the artillery shell on the beach in an area between Whitestown and Greenore and reported the incident to the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Dublin.
A 500 metre cordon was put in place and while Gardai and the Army Explosive Ordinance Division (EOD) were tasked, the Coast Guard team set up portable floodlighting in the area.
The EOD team arrived, examined and x-rayed the shell before making it safe for handling. The shell was taken away for further examination at 2am before being safely disposed of at an army firing range.
The army press office confirmed that the article was a 64 pound artillery shell, which would have been used on either a naval vessel or an on-shore artillery battery and was manufactured between 1865 and 1900.
The gun used to fire the shell would have weighed 3,300 kilos (64 cwt). It had a barrel length of 3.5 metres and a range of five kilometres.
Although no one can say for sure where exactly it originated, the artillery shell had remained undisturbed on the beach for many years, but potentially could have caused injury had it been interfered with in any way.
The Irish Coast Guard, Gardai and the Army are reminding people that if you discover a suspicious object on beaches or anywhere, do not interfere in any way with the object, move to a safe distance and contact the Gardai on 999 or 112.