A social welfare office has been evacuated after a man doused a counter with a liquid thought to be petrol.
The 50-year-old walked into the office in Ballina, Co Mayo, and poured out the contents of the container.
The gardai and fire brigade were called and the man was taken into custody.
Barry Kennedy, regional manager for the western region, said nobody was injured in the incident.
"Obviously this is something that is very, very rare and it would be a frightening experience for anybody to see people pour a liquid like that across a counter," he said.
"There are no physical injuries and obviously the evacuation took place straightaway and the gardai and fire brigade were on the scene very quickly."
Mr Kennedy said the Department of Social Protection must await permission from the gardai and fire brigade before the office can be reopened.
It is not clear if there was a staff member dealing with the man when the incident occurred.
The man was being questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be held for up to 24 hours.