Saturday 29 April 2017

Chaotic scenes as primary school security alert disrupts funeral for man who died in US

The funeral of Patrick McDonnell in the Lagmore Drive area of Belfast which was disrupted by an alert ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Patrick McDonnell in the Lagmore Drive area of Belfast which was disrupted by an alert ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Lesley Houston and Jonny Bell

The funeral of a man killed in America has been disrupted by a security alert at a primary school this morning.

Police said a suspicious object was found in the vicinity of Christ the Redeemer Primary School in Dunmurry on Monday morning.

Lagmore Drive has been closed to allow for police investigations.

There were chaotic scenes as the school's 600 children were evacuated from the building.

Parents rushed to the school to collect their children. Some abandoned their cars on the road which blocked the Army bomb squad from getting to the scene.

Most of the children have since been collected, however, some remain in the nearby church hall waiting on their parents or careers to collect them.

There has been widespread disruption around the scene with roads congested and many residents unable to get to their homes.

Parents told the Belfast Telegraph they were angry and disgusted at the disruption caused.

They said some children were unaware of the cause while others left the school in "streams of tears" and others were happy to get the day off.

Michelle Varndeel has two children at the school.

She said: "It's ridiculous in this day and age, this is absolutely horrible.

"I was brought up in the heart of Ardoyne and you just want better for the kids."

The alert has also disrupted the funeral of Patrick McDonnell, the Belfast father killed in a road crash in America last month.

The 52-year-old died after he was hit by a truck in North Carolina

Parish Priest at the Christ the Redeemer Church, Father Peter O'Kane, said he thought there had been an ends to day's like today, which had brought disruption to a school and a family trying to bury their loved one.

Meanwhile, police have confirmed a bomb was found during a security alert in Londonderry.

The viable device was recovered during a security alert in the Gelvin Gardens area on Sunday night.

A number of residents were moved from their homes while police and the Army bomb squad examined the device which was found at around 5pm.

Detective Sergeant Brian Reid said: ”The device was made safe and has been seized for forensic examination.

"Detectives from Strand Road Reactive and Organised Crime are now investigating this incident and we would like to speak to witnesses or anyone with information.

"Police are especially keen to hear from anyone who noticed any suspicious vehicles or people in the area at any time on Sunday, March 6.

"The number to call is 101. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Belfast Telegraph

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