28 October 2005

Loyalist feud 'affects education'


Many pupils have left Knocknagoney primary school

There are fears that the loyalist feud could affect the education of children in east Belfast estates.

One school said pupils were also being injured as they replayed paramilitary violence.

One child has been seriously injured and others frightened and traumatised following the loyalist feud in the Knocknagoney and Garnerville estates. So many pupils have left Knocknagoney primary school, it says it is in danger of losing a teacher.

Principal Mandy White said: "I would like people to recognise what has happened.

"The effect that it has had on the school, the effect that it has had on the children and the staff.

"We need support - for people to come to us and offer support in whatever way they can.

"Not just financial support - but people coming up to inquire of the staff if they are okay and can we help."

Children in the area had gone through a traumatic experience and the school needed extra resources, she said.

Principal Mandy White wants people to recognise what happened

The loss of pupils had meant a loss of revenue for the school, said the principal.

The school said it had not even had a phone call from the Belfast Education Board to ask how it was coping.

The board said it was in discussion with Knocknagoney but admitted a letter has only just been sent out and should arrive next week.

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