Principal “disappointed” and “frustrated” at school vandalism

July 1, 2019

St Joseph’s Boys High School in Newry have expressed their dismay after vandals caused damaged to their impressive sporting fields.

 The community pitches cost over £400,000 but the school worries that they are being “gradually destroyed by members of our community”.

 “The summer term isn’t even over,” said the school’s P.E department, “and already our school grounds have been hit by acts of vandalism.”

 In a tweeted message, they continued: “Our new portable nets and ball stops have been ripped and torn. The stanchions on both our goals have been broken off and left to rust.”

 John Campbell, former Principal of St Peter’s Cloughreagh Primary School, said that the attack was “soul destroying”. 

 Independent councillor Gavin Malone also hit out at the “disgusting attack on a great school”.

 He urged parents to be more vigilant, saying: “Parents, please make sure you know what your children are up to when they are out.”

 He also appealed for young people who may have information about the incident to speak to their parents.

 Meanwhile, Newry Council Chairperson and Sinn Féin councillor Charlie Casey said that the incident was not only an act of anti-social vandalism, but was also an attach on the local community.

 Casey urged anyone involved in such acts to stop and think about what they are doing to the community. 

 Declan Murray, principal of St Joseph’s High School, was left “disappointed” by the act of vandalism and admitted that “it can be very frustrating when things like this occur”.

 However, he asked that the local community keep in mind that the perpetrators are in a small minority, while the vast majority of local teenagers contribute in a positive manner to the area.

 “We in St Joseph’s know more than most that this is not a representation of the fantastic young people of Newry,” said Declan Murray.

 “We understand that all young people will determine the future of Newry and that future is very positive.”