Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Unionists condemn arson at Newtownabbey Community High School

By Sue Doherty

North Belfast and Newtownabbey Ulster Unionist representatives have condemned the actions of vandals who set fire to the site of the former Newtownabbey Community High School in Rathcoole.

Police and the Fire Service attended the fire which broke out at the old school on Rathcoole Drive shortly after 4pm on Saturday.

Extensive damage was caused to some of the mobile units and some building equipment was stolen, Sergeant Adrian Keon said on Sunday.

Responding to the news, Newtownabbey Councillor John Scott said: “I was greatly saddened and angry to learn that the old Newtownabbey Community High School site was badly damaged in an arson attack on Saturday.

"Those responsible have attacked their own community and denied their own people access to a community asset. Local people will share my anger and frustration at this senseless act."

North Belfast spokesperson Robert Foster added: "For some time now the Ulster Unionist Party has been pressing the Education Authority to allow the local Rathcoole community to make use of the premises until the Education Authority decides what the site should be used for in the longer term.

“Had this course of action been followed, we might have avoided the current scenario whereby anti-social elements have managed to destroy the facility. My feeling is one of absolute frustration at the senselessness of this act.”

Police are asking anyone with information to ring Newtownabbey station on 101, quoting reference 1003 17/06/17, or, to make an anonymous report, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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