Vandals in wrecking spree at Derry primary school

An image of the damage shared by the PSNI in Derry
An image of the damage shared by the PSNI in Derry

A Derry primary school principal has expressed gratitude to those who raised the alarm after vandals went on a wrecking spree at the premises.

Mrs. Rosemary Walsh, Principal at St. Thérèse’s Primary School in Lenamore was speaking after youths climbed on to the roof of the building on Sunday night and began smashing sky lights.

Police in Derry said the youths “used slabs of stone to smash six skylight windows which has rained down into the rooms below causing damage to printers and general devastation”.

A PSNI officer posted on the PSNI Foyle Facebook page: “Our schools are already suffering ☹️with many only surviving by equipment donations and fundraisers by parents.

“Let us know who these youths are. They need to learn to cherish our communities rather than destroy them.”

Mrs Walsh, meanwhile, posted: “As a school, we are extremely grateful to those public spirited people in our local community who alerted the PSNI to those causing damage to our building at approximately 7.30pm on Sunday night past.

“If the call had not been made, the damage would have been much greater.

“Four young male teenagers were seen running from the school.

“The damage caused now has to be repaired at great expense from our already over - stretched school budget, instead of going towards educating our pupils; our children lose out as they are the true victims of this act of criminal vandalism.

“Thank you, as always to our families and local community for your continuous support.”

Speaking on Monday, SDLP Councillor for the area Brian Tierney appealed to those involved in the vandalism to “stop destroying our community”.

He said: “There will be shock in the Galliagh community today as news spreads that the local school was attacked in this manner.

“A number of windows have been broken in the school which has caused disruption as numerous rooms cannot be used due to obvious safety reasons.

“I visited St Therese’s today and staff are genuinely shocked that anyone chose to attack the school.

“School budgets are challenging and all money should be spent on educating our children, not footing repair bills for needless vandalism.”

Mr Tierney concluded: “I would appeal to those involved in this type of behaviour to leave stop destroying our community. Anyone with information should bring it forward.”