Friday 23 March 2018

Thieves take 30 laptops before setting school on fire in 'appalling act of vandalism' week before exams

St. Oliver’s Community College Credit: Google Maps
St. Oliver’s Community College Credit: Google Maps

Brian O'Reilly and Catherine Devine

One of the biggest secondary schools in Ireland was broken into and set on fire in an “appalling act of vandalism”, one week before the state exams begin.

St. Oliver’s Community College in Drogheda was broken into and 30 laptops were stolen before the computer storage room was set on fire causing damage to the building.

Gardai and fire services were called before 7am on Saturday May 28 when smoke was seen coming from the school.

Local TD and former teacher in the school, Fergus O’Dowd said he was “appalled” by the incident.

“It’s absolutely terrible. It breaks the huge link between the school and community,” he said.

The public school has received many national awards and is one of the best schools in the country.

“It’s a huge challenge but the community will support the school and help replace the equipment. We’re lucky it happened at the end of the school year, it would have impacted the school more if it was at the start of the year.”

A local source told that three youths were spotted on the roof of the school between 6 and 7am.

None of those involved are believed to be students at the school.

It is believed they made their way into the building through a skylight.

The school was broken into just days earlier however nothing was taken in the incident.

It is understood the central server room in the school has been destroyed, meaning there are no wifi or printing facilities available.

The school, originally opened in the early 1980s, recently underwent a major renovation and extension.

Just days before the extension was due to be opened several of the windows were smashed and vandalised.

Gardai in Drogheda are investigating the incident. 

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