Experts try to determine what is the puzzling object which has come ashore on a Wicklow beach.

The object was discovered by a passerby who was walking on the beach at Five Mile Point near Newcastle in County Wicklow. The substance was seen floating ashore on the tide.

The object which is about the size of a barrel of Guinness is flammable and smells of sulphur or phosphorous.

Experts spent the day examining the object to determine what it was and where it came from.  Army bomb disposal experts say that the object is not explosives and is more than likely not to have come from Beaufort's Dyke, a natural trench in the water between Northern Ireland and Scotland. It is believed that the British dumped tonnes of wartime munitions at this spot during the 1940s.

Samples of the object have been taken to be tested but experts believe that it is a collection of some sort of chemical that solidified and was dumped into the sea.

Minister of State at the Department of the Marine Eamon Gilmore reiterated that the object is not like any material that washed up on the coast of Northern Ireland. However, he does urge people to steer clear of the object and if they discover any similar objects to contact the Marine Emergency Services.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 January 1996. The reporter is Carole Colman.