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Sunday, 24 June, 2001, 18:28 GMT 19:28 UK
Hoax alerts follow cemetery service
Service at Carnmoney cemetery was disrupted
Service at Carnmoney cemetery was disrupted
Army bomb disposal experts have said a suspect car abandoned outside a graveyard after a Catholic service was left in a hoax alert.

The car caused one of two alerts outside Carnmoney cemetery in Newtownabbey on Sunday, before the annual Catholic Cemetery Sunday service.

It was left near the cemetery entrance on Prince Charles Way on Sunday afternoon.

The road was closed to traffic for much of the day.

Army bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on a car
Army bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on a car
There was also an alert at nearby Church Road.

Earlier, hundreds of people were at the cemetery for the service to bless graves.

Loyalists had previously threatened to picket the service.

It was given permission to go ahead by Newtownabbey Borough Council which owns the cemetery.

Independent loyalist councillor Tommy Kirkham and DUP councillor Paul Girvan raised objections to what he described as a Mass being held.

Mr Kirkham had said the Catholic Church should have asked the Protestant community for permission to hold the event at the graveyard, which contains the graves of both Protestant and Catholic people.

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