Pupils sent home after vandals target school
Hundreds of pupils were sent home yesterday after their Co Tyrone school was vandalised.
Thieves targeted Drumgragh Integrated College, Omagh, by cutting telephone wires and disabling alarms during the break-in on Sunday evening.
The vandals used sledgehammers to smash their way through doors before they caused further damage inside the school.
The break-in was discovered by staff when they opened the school yesterday morning. Students arriving at the school were sent home again, however the damaged phone-lines caused problems with contacting parents.
The principal, Nigel Frith, said money was taken and added that the main damage had been caused to doors and furniture.
Mr Frith said he hoped the school would reopen today.
"They have taken surprisingly little," he said. "The main problem for us is going to be getting the repairs to the building done and getting everything up and running again.
"Our first concern this morning was children arriving at school.
"We had an operation that went quite well, to send children home immediately who were being dropped off by parents. We were relying on children to use their own mobile phones to contact their parents and liaise with us".
Joanne Donnelly, an SDLP councillor for the Omagh area, is a past pupil of the school and said the local community were shocked at the incident.
"This has caused massive disruption to the school, teachers, students and their families," she said.
"I'm absolutely disgusted that something like this would happen to one of our local schools."
Police are now investigating the burglary at the premises. Inspector Scott Fallis said: "We are keen to hear from anyone who noticed anything suspicious around the premises over the weekend."