School bus burnt out

ARSONISTS have destroyed a minibus belonging to a Lurgan school.

Pupils at St Mary’s High School look set to miss out on school trips this term after the school minibus was ‘burnt to a shell’ last week.

The 17-seater minibus had its windows broken in July and vandals targeted the vehicle again last Tuesday (August 16), setting fire to it and depriving the school of a very important piece of equipment.

St Mary’s principal Deirdre McNally said: “It was literally burnt to a shell.

“We’ve had the bus 11 years and it’s always been kept in the quandrangle. We’ve been very lucky that the school hasn’t suffered from vandalism for a long time, but now the minibus has been targeted twice.

“The last person left the school on Tuesday evening at around a quarter past four. I got a call from the caretaker at five to seven to say the fire brigade and police were there. By the time I got down the bus was completely gutted.”

The bus was owned by the school and was used every day according to Ms McNally.

She said: “We used the minibus for everything - it was used for school trips, by sports teams. It was used every day for one reason or another.

“It’s a terrible blow for the school, for the pupils, for the whole school community.

“The new term is about to start and we haven’t the budget to replace it. At this stage I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

She added: “I just don’t understand how anyone could be so destructive. If people have information it’s important they go to the police so the culprits can be apprehended.”