A suspicious package was discovered at a Limerick post depot this morning and "appears to be identical" to parcels which were discovered in London and Glasgow earlier this month.

The package has now been removed from the scene and will be examined by Gardaí (Irish police) and members of the Irish Defence Forces for a number of hours, reports the Limerick Leader.

Gardaí have said the package appears identical to parcels sent by dissident republicans to London and Glasgow and believe this package was returned through the postal system after it failed to reach its UK destination.

Read More: Horror of murder-suicide of wife and three children revealed in family's first interview

Gardaí at Limerick City's Henry Street requested the assistance of a bomb disposal squad from Ireland's Defence Forces following the discovery of the package at the An Post (Irish postal service) sorting office on the Dock Road shortly after 6 am.

#WATCH The @dfpo EOD team has left the An Post sorting depot where a suspicious package was discovered this morning. Gardai say the package has been removed for further examination. Full details shortly at https://t.co/CBUIPigLvK @Limerick_Leader pic.twitter.com/ysYibvGMNz

— David Hurley (@DHurleyLL) March 22, 2019

The sorting depot was evacuated following the discovery but some staff returned after the all clear was given shortly before midday.

A spokesperson for the Gardaí said: "This parcel appears to be identical to parcels (pending closer forensic and ballistic examination) discovered earlier this month in London and Glasgow."

Read More: Dublin man to face child porn charges in the US after losing extradition appeal

In an interview on RTÉ Radio, the Minister for Defence Charlie Flanagan also confirmed similarities to the "Love Ireland" stamps on the explosives sent to the UK. 

In this handout photograph provided by the Metropolitan Police, a package containing a small improvised explosive device that was delivered to the Compass Centre, Hounslow on March 5, 2019 in London, England. Getty

In this handout photograph provided by the Metropolitan Police, a package containing a small improvised explosive device that was delivered to the Compass Centre, Hounslow on March 5, 2019 in London, England. Getty

A police-woman stands guard outside a police cordon at Waterloo Station, central London on March 5, 2019, following a report of a suspicious package at the station. - Three small improvised explosive devices were found at buildings at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo train station in what the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command said was being treated as a 'linked series'. Image: Getty

A police-woman stands guard outside a police cordon at Waterloo Station, central London on March 5, 2019, following a report of a suspicious package at the station. - Three small improvised explosive devices were found at buildings at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo train station in what the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command said was being treated as a 'linked series'. Image: Getty

"This could well be the fifth (package). As yet it’s unconfirmed but I understand gardaí are actively engaged on the ground in Limerick," he said.

Flanagan told Today with Seán O'Rourke that he has information that suggests the discovery is linked to those in the UK.

"I understand that to be the case with particular reference to the type of postage stamp that was used."

Read More: My sainted surgeon was a pedophile who preyed on defenseless children

#WATCH The @dfpo EOD team has left the An Post sorting depot where a suspicious package was discovered this morning. Gardai say the package has been removed for further examination. Full details shortly at https://t.co/CBUIPigLvK @Limerick_Leader pic.twitter.com/ysYibvGMNz

— David Hurley (@DHurleyLL) March 22, 2019

Flanagan added. "I have to say that the sending of incendiary devices or letter bombs like that is a totally unacceptable act and I would hope that those responsible could certainly be brought to justice. I know that Gardaí are actively engaged as we speak."

Gardaí say they will continue to liaise with the UK Authorities in relation to the investigation into the discovery of the package in Limerick.

suspicious package foundTwitter - David Hurley - @DHurleyLL