Primary school at centre of security alert to remain closed today

Police at the scene of the security alert. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Police at the scene of the security alert. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
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Holy Cross Boys’ Primary School will remain closed today.

A Tweet issued last night from the school said: “Dear parents, The school will be closed tomorrow due to a continued security alert which will remain overnight.

“We will keep you updated when we receive any further information.

“Thanks for your continued cooperation”.

An improvised weapon was left in the grounds of a primary school in Belfast, in what a senior police officer has described as an “act of the utmost recklessness”.

Police have launched an investigation into the device, and are linking it with dissident republican terrorists.

They believe it was destined to be used in an attack on officers.

The device was discovered by the principal of Holy Cross Boys Primary School on Monday, while he was helping the caretaker clear an issue with the sewerage system.

PSNI Belfast District Commander Jonathan Roberts condemned those behind the security alert. “What they have done is endanger the lives of children,” he said.

“The device was left in the immediate area where the youngest children would be playing during the course of the school day.

“It’s a very, very dangerous act and I would appeal for anybody who has any information to contact the police.

“Our terrorism investigation unit have launched an investigation into the weapon and its history and who may have built it and who left it there.

“It’s very important, particularly given the circumstances of where it was left, in the immediate area where children were playing, that anyone with information contacts police please.”

School principal Kevin McArevey described the moment he found it as “a scary moment”.

“We had to lift a manhole cover to get the rods down and to my surprise, there was a plastic package just sitting in the sewers,” he told the BBC.

“I lifted it out and imagine my surprise when I opened it up, there was wires at the top of this and tubing in it.

“It was a scary moment for both of us.”

He added: “We had cleared out the sewers three years previous, it was put in there within the last three years.

“Whoever left this device should consider their reckless disregard for the health and wellbeing of the children who would regularly use the nature garden.”