Mystery of the Shell-bourne Road

ShellBourne Road

In August of this year, a construction worker labouring in a residence on the Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge uncovered an unexpected pair of genuine antiques.

Unfortunately, this was not a cause for celebration but rather alarm and the Gardaí were called to the house, number 44 Shelbourne Road.

The antiques in question were two artillery shells, believed to be as much as a century old. Unexploded devices are, of course, more than a matter of urban legend and the Gardaí in their turn contacted the Defence Forces.

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team was dispatched to the scene following a Garda inspection around midday. Arriving around 2.45 pm, the bomb disposal squad were unable to determine the precise age and nature of the shells due to extensive corrosion, although this in itself is an indication that the objects dated from the early part of the previous century, possibly from the War of Independence.

An official statement from Defence Forces Ireland, issued late on the afternoon of the incident, Tuesday August 27th, stated that the shells were transported to “a nearby safe location” and destroyed in a controlled explosion, seemingly putting an end to the mystery.

Unearthing of antique ordnance is far from unheard of in older parts of Dublin, but this find apparently represented an unusually old find.

Pictured: Old artillery shells from World War II.
Photo by Karen Keegan.

By Rúairí Conneely