An Army Bomb Disposal Team has defused an explosive device, which was found by a group of children playing in a green area near their homes in Cork today.

The pipe-bomb type device was described by a Defence Forces spokesman as a "viable improvised explosive device".

It was passed around a group of around half a dozen children, who found it on the green area at Churchfield Avenue in the city, at around 5pm.

The children brought the device to an adult who brought it to Gurranabraher Garda Station.

The station was evacuated and an army bomb disposal team was called in.

The device was rendered safe at the scene without a controlled explosion.

The components have been handed over to gardaí who will conduct forensic and ballistic tests on them as part of their investigation.

The scene was declared safe at around 7:30pm.

Gardaí are trying to establish how long the device had been lying in the green area and if it was intended for use there or had been left there to be picked up later.