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Eamonn Holmes recalls SHOCKING IRA incident – that landed him detention

The This Morning star was 14 and living in Belfast at the time

eamonn holmes
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
29 July 2019
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Eamonn Holmes has spoken about the moment his school bus was blown up by the IRA, and revealed how the incident resulted in him being given detention. The This Morning recalled the episode, which took place when he was 14 and living in Belfast during the height of the Troubles, on the White Wine Question Time podcast, hosted by his friend Kate Thornton. 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 Republic Army.'

eamonn holmes child© Photo: Instagram

Eamonn Holmes pictured as a child

"He starts sprinkling petrol everywhere so we get off. And they throw a petrol bomb on to the bus and set fire to it." Eamonn, 59, then recalled how he and his fellow pupils had to walk the last mile and a half to school – but far from being sympathetic, his head teacher gave him detention instead. "We got to the college, the gate was closed and Father Walsh was standing on top of the driveway," the TV star continued. "I looked at him thinking, 'I'm dead now, absolutely dead.' I'm puffing and panting, and he said, 'Why are you late, Holmes?', and I said, 'Father, our bus was hijacked at the top of the road and it was burnt. We had to run down here, and you can see the smoke.' And he looks at me and says, 'Detention.'"

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Eamonn then joked: "Nowadays, in this caring snowflake society, they would say, 'Are you ok? We will get a counsellor to speak to you.' And I would be suffering from PTSD for the rest of my life. But what did I get? Detention! I got detention for the IRA hijacking my bus. It was my fault, basically."

eamonn holmes ruth langsford© Photo: Getty Images

Eamonn and Ruth have been married since June 2010

During his time on the podcast, Eamonn also opened up about his romance with wife Ruth Langsford, and revealed details of his proposal at the Cheltenham races. The star had decided to write her a six-page text message, but had to wait a while for her to find it on her phone. He said: "I was in this box at Cheltenham, and basically say there are 12 people in this box, well 11 are men, and they are all talking, all guys of a certain age, all in their 50s I would have thought, all very confident and all very well fuelled with alcohol, and they are all around my wife – who's not my wife at this point. She's loving it, and I thought, 'Why isn't she my wife?' I just suddenly thought, 'Why have I not got that tied up? This suddenly really annoys me.'"

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He continued: "The thing about me, is that I would say that I love Ruth far more than she loves me, but she would say, 'How do you know how a person feels?' She's more English, she's not like me, I am from a very emotional, very sentimental family, she's more stiff upper lip, she comes from an army family, but I totally believe that she loves me and adores me, but I would still think that I love her and adore her more. So anyway, I went outside, and started six pages of text to her, telling her how much I love and adore her." Eamonn said that he kept asking her throughout the day whether she had looked at her phone, but it wasn't until they were on their way home in the car that she got it out and found his message. "She finally read it and looks at this phone, and I can see this tear coming down her eye, and she texted me back saying 'Yes,'" he said.

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