Irish Republican News · September 23, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Schools targeted for sectarian attack

A fire which has devastated an Irish Language pre-school in Belfast is the latest in an escalating series of sectarian attacks on schools across the North of Ireland.

Loyalist arsonists set fire to Naiscoil Thaoilinn in Poleglass in the early hours of last night in the second such attack this month.

One temporary classroom was destroyed while another was badly damaged. The previous attack caused damage worth more than £5,000.

Fire officer Gabriel Ferguson said today that the building ``was practically destroyed even before the Fire Brigade got there''.

Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Ferguson condemned the attack as the act of ``people with no values''.

``Those who feel nothing about burning a childrens school to the ground are those who have nothing and we have to ask why this is the case,'' he said.

``It is crucial that we once again rally around the school and support the teachers and children.''

Meanwhile, a school in Larne was shut down today as a result of a hoax bomb attack.

The caretaker at Larne High school found the device as he went to open up at around seven o'clock this morning. Students were told to stay at home as the device was investigated. A group called the ``Catholic Reaction Force'' claimedd responsibility for the hoax.

The hoax attack on the Protestant school followed a state of similar attacks on Catholic schools last week including the local school in Larne. A hoax device was planted at St Comgall's High School in the town and at Dominican College in North Belfast.

Simultaneous bomb threats disrupted lessons at four other Catholic schools around Belfast.

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© 2003 Irish Republican News