The perfect Christmas gift turned into an X Factor horror show for a group of schoolchildren after they were stranded in a blizzard at the top of the Glenshane Pass for eight hours.
The six children from Letterkenny travelled to Belfast with their parents on Monday to see their pop idols perform in the X Factor tour at the Odyssey Arena.
Little did the group of excited youngsters know that within hours the sounds of the show would be a distant memory as they shivered in the cold waiting to be rescued by emergency workers after the bus taking them home got stuck in deep snow.
The worn out children spent most of yesterday at Lavey GAA club, at Gulladuff, near Maghera, reliving a drama they will never forget.
The children were among 300 people stranded at the top of the notorious mountain pass as they waited for rescuers.
Last night, 10-year-old Danielle Worth said: “It was very cold and we were all freezing on the bus. We were really hungry and had no food with us.”
Meanwhile, parents of another group of schoolchildren, who had been on a day out at Dundonald Ice Bowl, described their terror at being stuck for eight hours on the Glenshane Pass in torrential snow.
Louise Coyle was one of several adults who accompanied the group, which included her 10-year-old daughter Leanne.
Ms Coyle said: “The children were tired, exhausted and relieved by the time they got home. It was an anxious night for everybody.”