Northern Ireland news

Family find 78 Second World War 'practice bombs' at Magilligan beach

Almost 80 "practice bombs" were found at Magilligan's Balls Point.
Seamus McKinney

THE Coastguard believes that almost 80 metal objects found by a family on a beach in Co Derry were “practice bombs”.

Coleraine Coastguard was joined by police and army technical officers after the 78 devices were discovered at Balls Point, Magilligan.

It is believed they may date back to the Second World War when the area was the centre of major air and naval activity.

A spokesman for the Coastguard said they were called after a family discovered what they described as “multiple items of ordnance” on the foreshore near Balls Point.

“PSNI and army disposal team were requested to attend and the items were confirmed as air-dropped eight-pound practice bombs.

“While they were only made of solid metal for practice drops, they would have once contained an explosive smoke marker so were still potentially very hazardous.”

The spokesman praised the family’s quick-thinking.

“They did the right thing in reporting their find. If you find any suspicious objects around the foreshore, dial 999 Coastguard,” he said.

A range of First and Second World War infrastructure still exists in the Magilligan and Limavady areas including pill boxes, observation posts and traces of radar, anti-aircraft batteries and living quarters.

The area around Lough Foyle was heavily utilised by Allied Forces during the Second World War because of the strategic importance of the lough for the sea war in the North Atlantic.

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