Gardai are investigating an incident in which an explosive device was sent to a social worker in Portlaoise.
The incident happened in mid-November and the device was sent to the offices where the woman works in Portlaoise.
"It was a viable explosive device, it was not crude," a Garda source told the Leinster Express.
The device was sent in a box to the offices. The recipient did not initially examine it, but put it in the boot of her car and took it away. She returned to Carlow to collect her child after work, and took the child to a children's event in the town.
It was while the child was attending the event that the woman became suspicious about the contents of the box. The Gardai were called and subsequently the Army Bomb Disposal Unit were called in. They evacuated the area and destroyed the device in a controlled explosion.
Gardai in Portlaoise and Carlow are jointly investigating the incident and say they are pursuing several lines of enquiry.
It's believed the incident is related to the woman's work, but no suspects have been identified as yet.
Speculation that a Dublin criminal gang were involved has been discarded.
"This woman was the target at her workplace," a Garda source said. "This was a malicious and calculating act.
"We are looking at everything. The woman in question had not been threatened prior to this and she had not been subjected to any incidents before.
"She was doing the work of any social worker."
The investigation is ongoing and the Gardai hope to progress it soon.