A kayak trip down the Sillees River in Boho ended up in an unexpected discovery for one man when the magnet he was trailing attached itself to a World War Two mortar.

Bernard McHugh from Boho was on the river last Saturday afternoon when he made the remarkable discovery.

“I was trailing a magnet on the back of the kayak,” explained Bernard. “I have only taken it up recently and the first time I dropped it in and pulled it out I thought that look likes a bomb.

“It looked old and must have been sitting down there a long time so there mustn’t be anything wrong with it so I lifted it in the boat with me.”

The discovery did not deter Bernard who continued kayaking before bringing the mortar back to his house where he showed it to his family and sent pictures to friends.

“I didn’t really pass any remarks. I didn’t think it would go off on me. I put it in the boot of my car and drove home with it. I brought it to the house and showed my father and he said to keep it away from the house.

“I sent it to my friends and they asked what it was. I said I think it’s a mortar bomb and they laughed at me.

“So I looked it up and it was a World War Two mortar bomb. I took pictures of it and brought it in and showed the police.

After reporting it to the police, they came out to Bernard’s house and stayed with the mortar until it was detonated by Army Technical Officers.

“Me, my dad and friend we stayed about until they detonated it beside our house. They dug a hole in the ground and put the bomb and detonator in and put 10 heavy duty sand bags on top of it and triggered the bomb off then. I have picked up loads of stuff before old horseshoes, gold cans, bits of iron, but I didn’t think I would pick up something like that.”

Police confirmed they received a report of an item in the Samsonagh Road area, Boho, Enniskillen at 6.50pm on Monday evening, September 3 and ATO carried out a controlled explosion on what is believed to be a WWII mortar.