'ABUSE OF CHILDREN'

'ABUSE OF CHILDREN'

By RUAIR CREANEY

ruairi.creaney@lurganmail.co.uk

A FURIOUS principal has hit out at the "mindless" thieves who broke into his school at the weekend.

A local councillor also condemned the thieves describing it as a form of child abuse.

Two laptop computers were stolen from the nursery and primary one classrooms at St Francis' Primary School during the burglary, which happened early on Sunday evening (January 23).

Another computer was also destroyed when one of the burglars threw a breeze block through a window to gain entry to the classroom.

Head teacher Anthony McMorrow said he was "appalled" that someone would steal equipment from a school.

"It's the fact that this crime has affected children so young that is most aggravating," said Mr McMorrow.

"Not only have they had valuable equipment stolen, the primary one and nursery pupils have had to merge in with other classes in the school. It has been a major inconvenience for all the teachers concerned."

The burglary happened at around 7.30pm, and police attended the scene shortly after.

Mr McMorrow appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

He said: "These children are having to go without equipment that they would have been using on a daily basis. If anyone saw anything whatsoever, I urge them to contact the police.

Mr McMorrow added: "The people who carried out this act were thinking of nobody but themselves."

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly described the crime as "disgusting".

She said: "People have to start getting real and realise that, in the long run, we all pay for these acts of vandalism and theft.

"This is a direct attack on the children of this school, as well as the wider community."

Mrs Kelly added: "This equipment has to be replaced, and that costs money. At this time of cutbacks, that can have some terrible consequences.

"It has the potential to put jobs at risk, and it's certainly not an exaggeration to say that."

Sinn Fein Councillor Maurice Magill also condemned the theft, saying it was "a form of abuse".

"This robbery was yet again a blatant example of total disregard for the local community and the welfare and education of local children," said Mr Magill.

"This selfish act caused disruption to the school and pupils alike. Given the importance of primary school education in preparing children for their future, it was not only a crime of theft, but a form of abuse against the children who attend the school."

Cllr Magill added: "Those responsible showed no thought for the community and the community should have no hesitation in reporting anything they know about this theft to the PSNI."

Police are currently investigating the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact them by calling 0845 600 8000. Alternatively, information about crime can passed to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

‘ABUSE OF CHILDREN'

A FURIOUS principal has hit out at the "mindless" thieves who broke into his school at the weekend.

A local councillor also condemned the thieves describing it as a form of child abuse.

Two laptop computers were stolen from the nursery and primary one classrooms at St Francis' Primary School during the burglary, which happened early on Sunday evening (January 23).

Another computer was also destroyed when one of the burglars threw a breeze block through a window to gain entry to the classroom.

Head teacher Anthony McMorrow said he was "appalled" that someone would steal equipment from a school.

"It's the fact that this crime has affected children so young that is most aggravating," said Mr McMorrow.

"Not only have they had valuable equipment stolen, the primary one and nursery pupils have had to merge in with other classes in the school. It has been a major inconvenience for all the teachers concerned."

The burglary happened at around 7.30pm, and police attended the scene shortly after.

Mr McMorrow appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

He said: "These children are having to go without equipment that they would have been using on a daily basis. If anyone saw anything whatsoever, I urge them to contact the police.

Mr McMorrow added: "The people who carried out this act were thinking of nobody but themselves."

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly described the crime as "disgusting".

She said: "People have to start getting real and realise that, in the long run, we all pay for these acts of vandalism and theft.

"This is a direct attack on the children of this school, as well as the wider community."

Mrs Kelly added: "This equipment has to be replaced, and that costs money. At this time of cutbacks, that can have some terrible consequences.

"It has the potential to put jobs at risk, and it's certainly not an exaggeration to say that."

Sinn Fein Councillor Maurice Magill also condemned the theft, saying it was "a form of abuse".

"This robbery was yet again a blatant example of total disregard for the local community and the welfare and education of local children," said Mr Magill.

"This selfish act caused disruption to the school and pupils alike. Given the importance of primary school education in preparing children for their future, it was not only a crime of theft, but a form of abuse against the children who attend the school."

Cllr Magill added: "Those responsible showed no thought for the community and the community should have no hesitation in reporting anything they know about this theft to the PSNI."

Police are currently investigating the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact them by calling 0845 600 8000. Alternatively, information about crime can passed to the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.