Irish Rail has appealed to metal dealers and the owners of scrap yards around the country today to show greater vigilance with people who are trying to sell copper and other precious cable that may have been stolen from railway lines.

The call follows an incident on the Kildare to Newbridge line this morning that led to lengthy delays for commuters travelling in and out of Heuston station.

An overnight attack by vandals on signalling equipment paralsyed the services to and from Heuston leaving hundreds of people late for work and appointments in the city.

Iarnród Éireann apologised for delays of up to an hour and half hours for commuters coming from Galway and elsewhere - as they tried to deal with the latest robbery on their line.

There was also disruption for those travelling through the Phoenix Park tunnel into Grand Canal Dock.

A manual signalling system was used while crews worked to repair the damage.