Public safety warning issued after theft of radioactive device in Co Louth

Gardaí issue appeal as item containing potentially dangerous material is stolen

Gardaí have issued a public safety warning following the theft of a radioactive device in Drogheda, Co Louth.

A “Troxler nuclear moisture density gauge”, which contains potentially dangerous radioactive material, was stolen from a van in the Co Louth town sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

The device is used by engineers to test the density of construction materials. The Garda said following the theft of the device that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has advised that "the public should be aware that there is a potential risk of exposure to radiation if an individual comes into contact with this item".

“In particular, if the case is opened and the equipment is activated,” the Garda said in a statement on Tuesday.


It was one of a number of items taken in the theft.

“Gardaí were alerted to the theft of a number of items from a van parked in The Downs, Highlands, Drogheda, Co Louth,” the Garda said.

“Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have information in relation to this incident and any person who may have witnessed any unusual activity in the Highlands area between 6pm yesterday and 6.30am this morning to come forward to them.

“Any person with information in relation to the theft or whereabouts of this [radioactive] item is asked to contact Drogheda Garda station on 041-9874200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111 or any Garda station.”

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times