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Eoin Heffernan

Package with 'white powder and a swastika' sent to Alan Shatter's home

In the Dáil, the Taoiseach said the anti-Semitic material sent to Shatter’s home was “a new low”. Several members of the gardaí and the Defence Forces were on the scene in Ballinteer, south Dublin earlier today.

Updated 12.20pm

THE ARMY BOMB Squad was this morning called to the estate in Ballinteer, south Dublin where Justice Minister Alan Shatter lives.

The Defence Forces confirmed that the operation dealt with a hoax device.

It is understood that a package containing white powder and a swastika was sent to the Minister’s home.

Members of the Army squad deployed at 9.55am but the scene was declared safe at 10.45am.

A local source said that a “massive” cordon was set up around Shatter’s home but that things had since returned to normal.

They said that some people on the estate were “extremely frightened” by the incident this morning.

“The whole controversy is starting to have an impact on our lives,” they said.

The Defence Forces could not comment on the nature of the hoax, other than to say that it was not a viable explosive.

The gardaí were in attendance, but the Garda Press Office could not confirm in what capacity.

A garda van regularly patrols the estate as it is home to the Justice Minister. There are two gardaí currently stationed on the estate as is normally the case.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed that the contents of the package sent to Shatter’s home contained “anti-Semitic” material.

He described the development as “a new low” and said: “A stream of similar material has been received in the Department of Justice… I’m sure you all deplore that.”

Health Minister James Reilly said the news was “absolutely appalling” describing it as  ”illegal” and “criminal”.

“We live in a democracy – that kind of thing is illegal, it’s criminal and it’ll be treated as such,” he added.

“I have a message for those who are responsible: They’re not part of the Ireland I believe in, not part of the republic I want to live in”

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell

First published 10.53am

Read: Abortion protesters gather outside Justice Minister’s home

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