Stradbally War of Independence grenade disposed of in dramatic fashion

Historic grenade found in the home town of Irish and Laois patriot Kevin O'Higgins

The Army Bomb Disposal Unit has made safe a grenade dating from the War of Independence, which was discovered in the back garden of a house at Court Square.

Earlier today, Thursday, following a request from An Garda Síochána, an Army Bomb Disposal Team made safe a Mills 36 hand grenade at a private residence in Stradbally. The grenade was discovered by a member of the public conducting renovations.

The Army Bomb Disposal Team arrived on scene at 9am, where they carried out an initial assessment of the grenade before proceeding to make it safe. The grenade was subsequently moved a short distance and disposed of. The scene was declared safe at 10:10am.

Local man William Whelehan captured the moment when the bomb exploded

The Defence Forces said historic munitions from conflicts in the early 20th century can be encountered from time to time.

"Should members of the public find such munitions they are advised to maintain a safe distance, inform An Garda Síochána, who in turn will request Defence Forces assistance," said a statement.

Stradbally has strong links to the War of Independence. Former Minister Kevin O'Higgins joined the Irish Volunteers in 1915. He was Captain of Stradbally company, Carlow brigade during the fight for Irish freedom.

O'Higgins was assassinated at the age of 35 in Dublin on his way to Mass by three anti-Treaty members of the IRA.

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