Dickson saga a factor in principal’s absence

Joe Johnston
Joe Johnston

One of the headmasters who has come under fire from Save The Dickson Plan campaigners has been off on stress-related sickness for the past month.

Lurgan Junior High School Principal Joe Johnston was at the school for the first few weeks of September, but since then he has been off work due to stress.

The period of sickness coincides with a stepping up of the Dickson Plan campaign and it is understood to have been a factor in the headmaster’s absence from his post.

Mr Johnston spoke to the ‘MAIL’ expressing his disappointment after his school’s speech day was ‘hijacked’ by Save The Dickson Plan campaigners at the end of last term.

In his absence, Vice Principal Lynda Currie is acting principal.

Mr Johnston and his counterpart at Craigavon Senior High David Mehaffey, whose schools voted for Option A, have been singled out by some Save The Dickson Plan campaigners as the opposition.

Mr Mehaffey has maintained his school is not the enemy and that his job is to get the best for his pupils.

David Mehaffey did not attend either Lurgan College or Portadown College speech days on Friday amid speculation he was boycotting the events.

Mr Mehaffey, who up until this year had been a regular guest at the schools’ prizegiving events, didn’t wish to give credence to the matter when contacted by the ‘MAIL’.