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Northern Ireland - Pupils fight for a permanent base

Primary pupils staged a protest at Stormont last week calling for a new school building, after theirs was gutted by fire last July.

Whitehouse Primary School in Newtownabbey relocated to temporary classrooms at Newtownabbey Community High School last September.

In the days following the arson attack Catriona Ruane, Education Minister, pledged that pre-existing plans to build a new school on the Doagh Road were being fast-tracked.

But construction did not start in November 2009 as expected, and in April this year, Ms Ruane put the building plans on hold.

David McConkey, principal of Whitehouse, accompanied his pupils to Stormont and brought a selection of protest letters to the education committee.

Billy Webb, the Alliance councillor for Newtownabbey, said the temporary classrooms were "never meant to be permanent".

"That Whitehouse Primary was lumped in with the review of current capital projects came as a complete shock to us," he said. mr.

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