Seeley has new teaching post

Gemma McKenna (left) and new Sinn Fein council member Catherine Seeley.
Gemma McKenna (left) and new Sinn Fein council member Catherine Seeley.

Craigavon Sinn Fein Councillor Catherine Seeley, who was forced from a teaching post in a Protestant school because of online abuse, has found a new job in a Catholic school.

The 25-year-old had been targeted online after she was co-opted to Craigavon Council just last month.

She had been teaching at the Boys Model School in North Belfast, however, she quit the post after a torrent of online abuse.

Her union, the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) confirmed this week that Ms Seeley has been redeployed to another school and will return to work soon.

Neither the union or the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) would confirm its identity.

It is understood to be a non-selective Catholic post-primary school in the Southern Education and Library Board area.

“Catherine Seeley has now been placed in a school where she can feel safe from unwarranted abuse and where she can get on with the job to which she has dedicated herself, helping young people to achieve their full potential,” said INTO northern Secretary Gerry Murphy.

“It is a sad reflection of our society that a young teacher can be hounded out of her job by a campaign of vile sectarian abuse.

“Sectarianism is a very destructive influence and can have no part to play in the workplace.

“INTO and the entire trade union movement will continue to work tirelessly to eradicate it.”

INTO senior official Brendan Harron said: “INTO also wishes to record its appreciation of the support that Catherine has received from her pupils, teaching colleagues far and wide and the board of governors of Boys Model School.”

Meanwhile speaking at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis at the weekend, Cllr Seeley said: “Protestant working class boys are entitled to the same life prospects as everyone else.

“Politicians and educationalists who oppose the reform of the common funding formula are failing these children and need to be confronted and challenged. And they should answer directly to the students and children they claim to represent.”

She publicly thanked all those who supported her following the sectarian abuse she received.