Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Victory for pupils as arson-hit primary to be rebuilt

By Kathryn Torney

Published 15/05/2010 | 01:15

Whitehouse PS pupils protesting outside Stormont
Whitehouse PS pupils protesting outside Stormont

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has caved into public pressure and given approval for a new build project for a school destroyed by arsonists.

Ms Ruane announced the go-ahead for the £3.6m project at Whitehouse Primary in Newtownabbey yesterday following weeks of campaigning by staff, parents, pupils and the community. Work is due to start within weeks.

The school was burned to the ground last July and the minister was strongly criticised after she suspended plans for a new build as part of a review of all school capital building projects.

This is despite just days after the blaze Ms Ruane saying that plans to construct the new school were being fast-tracked. Members of the North Eastern Education and Library Board also issued a statement to say they were “frustrated and disappointed” at Ms Ruane's stance. A delegation took their campaign to Stormont on Wednesday.

The school’s principal David McConkey said he was “absolutely delighted” by the minister’s announcement.

Meanwhile, Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche, an Irish-medium school in Castlewellan also destroyed by arsonists a month after the Whitehouse attack, was given partial Government funding for a new build.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph