Belfast Telegraph

Boys Model hit by petrol bomb attack

by Bob Malcolm

The newly rebuilt Boys Model School, which is to have its grand opening this Friday has been attacked with what police suspect is a petrol bomb.

The incident occurred over the weekend of April 8-10 and was discovered by workmen arriving on site on Monday morning.

While the incident has caused alarm locally, school principal Jim Keith played it down and suggested it may just have been a bottle thrown by a “drunk hooligan” rather than anything more sinister.

SDLP North Belfast Assembly candidate Alban Maginness called on anyone with information to contact the police. “This is a deplorable attack which has angered people in north Belfast.

“This is a brand new building which serves our community and has been very successful in providing state of the art education facilities to the boys.

“This wanton act of destruction is despicable and it is extremely fortunate that more damage wasn’t caused.”

William Humphrey, DUP north Belfast candidate, and former head boy at the school said: “This is not just an attack on the school but on the local community.

“If the bomb had ignited it would have caused more damage to the school.

“I condemn this attack on the school and the wider community and consider this wanton destruction.”

Alliance councillor Billy Webb said: “I am shocked by this attack on the school. To use a petrol bomb clearly shows the wicked intent of the perpetrators.

“If this petrol bomb did ignite then we could have been looking at extensive damage done to the school at a considerable cost.

“Our education budget is already under pressure, but we could have been looking at a bill of several thousand pounds, money that is better spent on our children’s education.”

Boys Model principal Jim Keith said: “I came in on Monday morning and one of the men said a bottle had been thrown over the wall. I’d say it was some drunk hooligan to be honest but I can’t be sure.”

He condemned the attack which has put a dampener on a big week for the school.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police in north Belfast are investigating after a petrol bomb was thrown in the Ballysillan Road area yesterday (Monday, 11th April).

“It is believed the object was thrown at a school, damaging a sports hall window. The object failed to ignite and no one was injured during the incident. It is not known when the device was thrown at the school.”

Anyone who has any information is asked to contact police at Tennent Street on 0845 600 8000. or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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