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Fire at Primary School is an attack on whole community - Sinn Féin

25 July, 2006

Sinn Féin North Belfast Councillor Tierna Cunningham has today said that last night's fire at a Catholic school in North Belfast "bore all the hallmarks of another sectarian attack in the area".

A fire severely damaged St Mary's Primary School on the Shore Road in the early hours of this morning.

Speaking today Ms Cunningham said:

"Having been to visit the school this morning it is clear that the damage is extensive. Our view is that this latest attack is sectarian in nature given what has taken place in this area for the past couple of nights. This is also the view of very many residents I have spoken to in the area.

"This is clearly an attack upon the whole community which can only heighten tensions and lead to a spiralling situation as we have seen over the past number of nights. These attacks are wrong and must cease immediately, whether they be on schools, homes, churches or Orange halls.

"People in North Belfast are working hard to ensure that this situation does not escalate any further. Meanwhile, my colleague Gerry Kelly will be writing to British Direct Rule Minister Paul Goggins to reiterate calls for agreed physical measures to ensure public safety during the hours of darkness in the lane between the Whitewell Road and the Greymount estate. Sinn Féin has been engaged in extensive lobbying, in conjunction with local residents to ensure that such a measure is put in place." ENDS

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