Northern Ireland - Exams thwarted by arson attack

28th May 2010 at 01:00

GCSE students at a west Belfast school have been relocated during their exams period following a serious arson attack.

The arsonist was caught on CCTV on the evening of the blaze starting a fire in the oratory of St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School.

The assembly hall, set up for pupils taking their exams, was attached to the small chapel and was also severely damaged.

Headteacher Jim Sheerin said the cost of repairs would be #163;200,000.

A number of religious items brought back from an annual pilgrimage to Zambia were damaged in the fire, as well as crosses and crucifixes that date back to the 1920s. Mr Sheerin said the damage to these symbolic items was "most distressing".

The arsonist appears to be around 16 years old, but the head said he was "absolutely certain" that none of his pupils were involved. MR.

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