Catholic schools damaged in overnight attacks

Two Catholic schools have been damaged in what have been described as sectarian attacks in Belfast and Lisburn.

A mobile classroom at St Patrick's High School on Lisburn's Ballinderry Road sustained significant damage following an arson attack.

SDLP Assembly Member for Lagan Valley, Patricia Lewsley said the attack would “undoubtedly inconvenience pupils and staff at the school and interfere with the children’s education”.

A short time later a fire was discovered at St Bride's Primary School in Derryvolgie Avenue in south Belfast. The blaze damaged a classroom and adjoining corridor.

Balmoral Sinn Fein representative Stephen Long said that the apparent arson attack was “a completely reprehensible act”.

The attacks on schools came as Police warned teachers across Northern Ireland of a threat to Catholic teachers.

Security forces were out in force on Monday January 14 as they kept a close watch on dozens of Catholic and Protestant schools to ensure staff and pupils got to class safely.

The security force presence was later justified when the mainly Protestant attended Boys' Model Secondary School was evacuated following a telephone bomb warning. The bomb warning was later declared a hoax. (MB)

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