Explosive components found during search for Ciara Breen

Members of the Gardai searching the area known as Balmer's Bog
Members of the Gardai searching the area known as Balmer's Bog

The components to an explosive device were discovered by search teams scouring marshland for clues to the disappearance of a teenage girl.

The army bomb disposal was called to an area known as Balmer's Bog, which is off the Ardee Road in Dundalk by Gardai shortly before 4pm today. 

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team rendered the historical explosive device safe just after 6pm this evening, authorities said. 

Gardai assisted by members of the Defence Forces have been searching approximately 16 acres of land in the area for missing woman Ciara Breen. 

More than 60 soldiers were called in from Aiken Barracks in nearby Dundalk to help with the search . 

Ciara Breen was just 17 when she vanished the day before Valentine's Day in 1997 in Dundalk. 

The young girl had been at an Italian restaurant with her mother that evening, and was later found to have climbed out of her window in the middle of the night. It is believed she was going to meet someone, but she was never seen again. 

Detectives investigating the disappearance have interviewed over 100 people in connection with the incident but have not established any solid leads. 

Last year, however, Gardai were spurred on after two potential witnesses came forward with information regarding Ciara's disappearance. Gardai said at the time  the witnesses had "been of great assistance to the investigation team."

A local man was questioned at the time time in relation to Ciara's disappearance but was never charged. 

Searches of the area will re-commence tomorrow.