Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Sinn Fein: DUP must clarify stance over teacher forced out of job by online bigots

Teacher Catherine Seeley is a Sinn Fein councillor in Craigavon
Teacher Catherine Seeley is a Sinn Fein councillor in Craigavon

The DUP has been urged to state whether it has pressed loyalists to end the intimidation of a Catholic school teacher.

Sinn Fein said the party had met with three prominent members of the Protestant Coalition – Bill Hill, Sam McCrory and Rab McKee – at Stormont yesterday.

However, the DUP said it was speaking to "victims' representatives about victims' issues".

Teacher Catherine Seeley has fled her work at the Belfast Boys' Model School in fear after the Protestant Coalition – a group involving leading Union flag protesters – revealed on Facebook that she is also a Sinn Fein councillor in Craigavon.

The 25-year-old has taught at the mainly-Protestant school, situated in the Ballysillan area of north Belfast, since September.

Graffiti was daubed close to the school telling her to quit her post.

The case has been strongly condemned by Sinn Fein, who branded her targeting as a "witch hunt", while pupils at the school have also spoken out in support of her.

After a meeting between the DUP and loyalists at Stormont yesterday, Sinn Fein education spokesman Chris Hazzard called for the party to clarify its position.

"I call on the DUP to state publicly whether during this meeting they pressed upon the Protestant Coalition to end their campaign of targeting school teachers," he said.

The DUP denied it had met with the group. A party spokesman said: "The DUP met a series of victims' representatives."

Further reading

Protestant pupils voice support for Sinn Fein councillor teacher forced out of job by online bigots

Threats force Sinn Fein teacher out of the classroom 

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