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Councillor condemns ‘slingshot’ attack on Irish school

Thursday, 8 December 2016

A STRABANE councillor has expressed his disgust after the attempted damage to the local Irish medium primary school.

Sinn Féin's Brian McMahon said Gaelscoil Ui Dhocartaigh in the Ballycolman was targeted by a number of young boys armed with slingshots.

The youths, thought to be 10 or 11-years-old, attempted to break windows as Irish language classes were taking place on Thursday night last.

Expressing his disgust at the incident, Cllr McMahon, who also works as a classroom assistant at the school, explained: "As the weekly Conradh na Gaeilge Irish language classes were taking place in the local Gaelscoil, a number of classrooms began getting hit with stones.

"It was then that two young boys, armed with sling-shots were spotted targeting the school from outside the perimeter fence. These young boys who, those present say, were no more than 10-11 years of age immediately took to their heels and ran off once they were challenged.

"However, it is disgusting that these young boys were trying to derive some sort of kicks from attacking the Gaelscoil with the classroom windows being their obvious target."

Cllr McMahon said the school has never been targeted before adding that he hoped the attempted vandalism was a one-off. He has also urged the local community to be vigilant.

"Thankfully, the Gaelscoil has been virtually free from any type of vandalism since it first was located at the bottom of the Ballycolman more than 15 years ago and local residents living in the vicinity of the school have always been great at keeping an eye out for the school.

“ I hope that this was just a one off misguided escapade from these two young boys and they will not attempt any repeat attack on the school or on the home of any local resident for that matter. 

“ However given what has happened, I would urge people in the local community to remain vigilant over the coming days and to immediately challenge if they witness any attempt repeat of what happened last night (Thursday)," he added.

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