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Board meets after school arson

20-07-2009

Education authorities are to meet later to discuss a plan to accommodate 400 pupils whose County Antrim school was destroyed by arsonists at the weekend.

Much of Whitehouse Primary School on the Doagh Road, Newtownabbey, was destroyed in the blaze on Saturday.

Only the nursery section of the school survived the early morning fire.

Whitehouse Primary is the third school to be targeted by arsonists in the greater Belfast area in the past few days.

Last Wednesday, St Mary's Star of the Sea Primary School on the Shore Road was damaged in an arson attack.

A plastic sign and rubbish bins were set alight and a boilerhouse was extensively damaged.

The arsonists also tried to set fire to the roof and sectarian graffiti was written on the building.

A fire at a former school - La Salle Boys' School - on the Glen Road last Thursday is also being treated as suspicious.

Northern Eastern Board officers hope to be able to provide facilities for the pupils of Whitehouse PS when the new school year begins in September.

Gordon Topping, chief executive of the North Eastern Education and Library Board, said there were already plans for a new school on the site but now board officers would have to press the Education Department to release funding quickly to get the rebuild started.

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