Belfast Telegraph

Schoolboy brings home WWII bomb home in bag

By Anne Madden

Erne Integrated pupil Harry Callaghan sparked a major security alert in Enniskillen after he brought home a World War II warhead in his schoolbag.

The mischievous 14-year-old, known as 'H-bomb' to his family, found the brown cylinder on the shore at Killadeas last week.

His shell-shocked mother Giannella said they all gasped when he produced it from his schoolbag after getting off the bus.

"We couldn't believe it," she said. "He got off the bus and said to me: 'Look what I've got mum, I don't know what it is but I want to keep it'.

"My partner Liam took it and put it on the ground. Then he moved it away from the house and then we called the police."

When the police arrived they cordoned off the Kilmacormick area of the Co Fermanagh town and called the ATO (Army Technical Officers).

The security alert lasted three hours. The teenager was then escorted by the Army back to the shore where he found the shell.

"It turned out to be the top end of the shell," his mother said. "The Army found the other half of the shell and some discarded bullets.

Harry realised afterwards that it could have been much more serious when he thought about the fact that he'd carried this device home on the schoolbus.

"We have always called him 'H-bomb' because he's into everything, but we told him he's earned his nickname now."

The relieved mother-of-two said she's asked her boys just to bring her a bunch of flowers in future.

A police spokesman said the device was examined and found to be an inert training round from WWII filled with concrete.

It would have been used in practice drills by Allied troops.

A barge, which collected discarded items, would have been moored at the shore where the shell was found.

Giannella said she panicked slightly when the ATO drove by on their way to another security operation the following day - but this one didn't involve her son.

Coincidentally, a 40-year-old mortar bomb was discovered in the back garden of a house in the Sligo Road area of the town last week and made safe.

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