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Wednesday 17 September 2014

'She felt sick. There was something in the air that was not good'

Emma Jane Hade

Published 11/03/2014 | 17:29

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Nine year old Nadia Chernus pictured with her Mum Annette, at their home in Maynooth. Nadia is a 3rd class student in Educate Together Maynooth as was one of the students who was o the swimming trip to the NUI Maynooth swimming pool Pic Frank Mc Grath
The Educate Together school in Maynooth. Inset: Marie Hand, principal of The Educate Together Maynooth

Annette Chernus described her fear of the moment when she got that phonecall from the school informing her of the incident.

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Some 25 primary school children, all under the age of nine, were at a swim class at NUI Maynooth when they were evacuated after they were exposed to chemicals after a maintenance leak.

The principal of the school involved confirmed to that two children were being assessed at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, two in Tallaght and two in Temple Street this afternoon.

Marie Hand, principal of Educate Together in Maynooth said that a total of 25 kids from third and fourth class were in the pool when the incident occurred - and they started complaining about vapours

Annette's daughter Nadia is a third class pupil in the primary school, and was one of the 25 students that were exposed to the potentially dangerous chemicals.

She explained that because English is her second language, she initially interpreted that there had been an explosion.

"She (the school secretary) was so calm and said that everyone was okay," she explained.

The Norwegian native said that her nine-year-old daughter began to fell ill in the water and was coughing, but thankfully did not require further medical attention.

She then went to the school to collect her, where the paramedics met with worried parents and explained to them what exactly had happened.

"She felt sick, like there was something in the air that was not good.

"The paramedics in the school waited for all the parents to come and then they had a short meeting with us.  They went through what was happening, and what it is all about," the 35-year-old said.

The mother of two moved to Maynooth, Co Kildare her husband Alexander last July.

They now would like to know what exactly caused the incident.

"I still don't know what happened.  Was it an accident or human failure? I don't know," she added.


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