THE 'SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE' identified at the Department of Health yesterday which led to the evacuation of the building has been determined to be safe.
Gardaí, the fire brigade, a HazMat unit and multiple ambulances were on the scene at the building on Miesian Plaza, Baggot Street in Dublin city centre yesterday evening, and Defence Forces technicians were present to make safe a device if needed.
Firefighters from Donnybrook and Tara St fire stations are currently attending an incident on Lower Baggot Street. Our HazMat unit is attending as a precaution. Traffic restrictions in place #Dublin #fire #traffic @DCCTraffic @aaroadwatch pic.twitter.com/IFdHrwDxdy
— Dublin Fire BOOgade👻 (@DubFireBrigade) August 25, 2020
However a Garda spokesperson confirmed that the package, found to contain white powder, was a harmless product similar to baking powder.
The building has been cleared for entry and business as usual, and the Gardaí have opened an investigation into the origin of the powder and whether it had been sent with malicious intent.
It is not the first time the Department of Health has been evacuated due to the presence of a suspicious package: in March of 2019 a packet containing white powder was sent to the government building, prompting similar scenes with evacuations and emergency services.
Again, at the time the package was found to contain harmless household product, but left many staff shaken.
Speaking at the time, then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:
"I’m not sure what kind of oddballs send suspicious packages in the post but they should be well aware that it is not politicians opening the mail, it’s people doing a normal job, a receptionist or a security guard or clerical officer or someone in the constituency team.
"If you want to come after us, come after us but don't come after our staff or our families."