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Start of another term at Holy Cross but it's the same old story.. bomb hoaxes and fear.

Byline: TED OLIVER

HOLY Cross children faced yet another first-day-back ordeal yesterday when a hoax bomb was left at their school.

The caretaker at the North Belfast primary found a suspicious device hanging on the gates as he went to open them.

Some children burst into tears as police diverted them away and Army bomb experts arrived.

P1s had been due to spend just an hour in the school as their first day but had to be sent home.

The first assembly of the year was held in a neighbouring boys school and classes were delayed for around two hours.

A bogus bomb telephone warning was also made to the school.

Holy Cross was the scene of violent protests for three months in 2001 when loyalist residents objected to the Catholic children being walked to school through a small Protestant area.

Chairman of the school Board of Governors, Fr Aiden Troy, said: "We hoped that these sort of incidents were in the past.

"It is a disgusting way to treat little girls, some of whom are only four years of age and already nervous about starting school for the first time."

One little girl, Chelsea Trainor, aged four, was close to tears as she trudged back home pulling her brand-new school bag along behind her.

Her mother said: "She had been looking forward to it and was very excited. Now it's going to be hard to get her in the right frame of mind to go back in again."

CAPTION(S):

SADNESS: Chelsea Trainor, four, returns home yesterday; EMERGENCY: Army robot at school; DISGUST: Governor Fr Aiden Troy
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 2, 2003
Words:268
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