Home / Lifestyle / Irish star Eamonn Holmes speaks about terrifying moment his school bus was blown up by IRA

Irish star Eamonn Holmes speaks about terrifying moment his school bus was blown up by IRA

Irish TV presenter Eamonn Holmes has revealed that he was once on a bus that was hijacked and blown up by the IRA.

The This Morning star, who grew up in Belfast, said that a man in a balaclava came onto the bus and doused it in petrol before setting it on fire.

The 59-year-old discussed the terrifying moment when he appeared as a guest on Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time podcast.

Eamonn Holmes

Holmes was a youngster on his way to school when the incident occurred – but he didn’t get any sympathy from his teachers, who punished him for being late.

He said: “Our bus was hijacked on the Antrim Road. And this man wearing a balaclava came on and said, ‘We are commandeering this bus for the Irish Republican Army’.

“He starts sprinkling petrol everywhere so we get off. And they throw a petrol bomb on to the bus and set it on fire. So, we walk the next mile and a half to school.

“We got to the college, the gate was closed and Father Walsh was standing on top of the driveway. I looked at him thinking, ‘I’m dead now. I’m absolutely dead’.

“He looks at me and says, ‘Detention’. I got detention for the IRA hijacking my bus. It was my fault basically.”

Holmes described the issues he faced as a youngster growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

When he was 10, his father was arrested under terror laws during a family trip to England to watch Manchester United.

As the boat docked in Liverpool, Holmes’ father was arrested. Holmes said he was ‘absolutely terrified’ but thankfully a doctor onboard vouched for his father and they were free to continue their trip.

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling

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