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Parents call for more protection after gang attacks outside school


 St Peter and Paul Junior National School. Photo: Caroline Quinn

St Peter and Paul Junior National School. Photo: Caroline Quinn

St Peter and Paul Junior National School. Photo: Caroline Quinn

PARENTS who fear their children could fall victim to gangland violence at their school gate held a public meeting to demand increased garda protection.

Armed officers have been on duty outside St Peter and Paul Junior National School in Balbriggan in Co Dublin on certain days following violent attacks by vicious thugs.

Parents met on Monday night in a hastily organised meeting at a local pub to demand more garda action to keep their children safe.

In November, the Herald revealed that terrified children were forced to witness two brutal attacks on consecutive school days as pupils were being dropped off by their parents before 9am.

And last week, a man was chased through the schoolyard and ran to seek safety in the school building.

The dangerous situation outside the school led to an overt garda presence.

A total of 50 parents attended the public meeting in Balbriggan at The Milestone pub on Monday to seek increased protection for their children.

Two officers from Balbriggan garda station attending the meeting told the anxious parents that an investigation into the incidents was at an advanced stage.

Parents appealed to the gardai to ensure there was a visible presence at the school each day until the matter is resolved.



Officers said the top priority of local gardai was to ensure the safety of the schoolchildren and their parents. They appealed to parents to continue bringing their children to the school as normal.

Children can sense when parents are anxious so it was important for parents to remain calm, said a community garda.

The Herald reported that in one incident outside the school in November, a Toyota Avensis which was dropping children off was attacked by five individuals.

The men who were in a Ford Transit van jumped out of the vehicle and attempted to grab the driver of the Avensis.

In another attack, individuals waited outside the school and used baseball bats to smash in the windows of a Toyota van.

Parents at the meeting on Monday told the Herald they hoped the culprits will be soon arrested so that life can get back to normal in their community.