Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Threats force Sinn Fein teacher out of the classroom

Distraught: Catherine Seeley
Distraught: Catherine Seeley

A teacher who is also a Sinn Fein councillor is too frightened to return to work at a Protestant school after graffiti appeared calling on her to leave.

Catherine Seeley, who teaches at the Boys' Model school in north Belfast, has been subjected to online abuse after her political affiliation became known.

Threatening graffiti was daubed close to the school telling her to quit her post.

The 25-year-old sits on Craigavon Borough Council.

Last night a family member told the Belfast Telegraph she was very upset and distraught.

"It's scary for any young woman, you know.

"She's obviously very scared, but it's more than that, it's her livelihood."

Gerry Murphy of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation said she was "too frightened and too upset" to return to the classroom.

Sinn Fein MLA and education spokesperson Chris Hazzard said people should be able to work free from sectarianism and blamed the Protestant Coalition group for the campaign.

"The sectarian targeting and witch-hunt of a Catholic schoolteacher being conducted by the so-called political party, the Protestant Coalition, must be condemned in the strongest terms.

"No teacher, whatever their beliefs or religion, should be targeted in such a way."

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