Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 17:07 UK

Arson 'attempt to destroy school'

A fire at a school in north Belfast is being treated as arson by police
A fire at a school in north Belfast is being treated as arson by police

A priest has said an arson attack at a Catholic primary school in north Belfast was an attempt to burn down the building.

At least four fires were started at different parts of the St Mary's school building on the Shore Road and its adjoining boiler house.

Paint and sectarian graffiti was also spattered over the building.

Fr John McManus condemned those responsible, saying it was clearly a planned attack to destroy the school.

The fire at the school in Greencastle was reported at 0206 BST on Wednesday.

SDLP North Belfast councillor Pat Convery said a it was a "despicable sectarian attack" on a Catholic school.

"This is the third or fourth attack on the school and while the police have not formally classified this attack as sectarian as yet, people will draw their own conclusions from the graffiti the arsonists left behind.

"North Belfast can't take any more of this tit for tat arson.

"Anyone who knows anything about who is responsible for this or other sectarian arson attacks on any community premises or private property should go to the police."

The school was the target of a previous arson attack in 2006.

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