East Belfast’s First Irish Language School Relocates After ‘Hate Campaign’ | UTV

A Belfast primary school blamed a “hate campaign” on social media after it emerged that an Irish-language nursery would not open on the site as planned.

Naiscoil na Seolta was due to open its doors to 16 children at Braniel Primary School in September, the first Irish language school in the east of the city.

The nursery school was reportedly separated from Braniel PS but was to be housed in a classroom on the same site.

But the elementary school issued a statement to parents saying that would not happen now due to the actions of “those who are not from our school community.”

A school statement said: “It is with great sadness and regret that we had to inform our school community today of the decision of the Integrated Naiscoil na Seolta to move to another site due to actions of individuals not connected to school.

“Due to an ongoing hate campaign on social media against some people and the integrated Naiscoil na Seolta, it is with great sadness that he chooses to move to another location.

“A social media campaign was launched and fueled by those who are not connected to school, nor parents at our school and who are clearly not interested in the facts and the truth, which made possible the publication of Disgusting comments littered with false, unsubstantiated claims about some individuals and the Naiscoil.

“Braniel PS is not and should never be viewed as a contested space.

“We pride ourselves on being a shared space for all. We welcome all children, parents, families and individuals regardless of religion, faith, creed or language and we always will.

“Comments, made primarily by those outside our school community, on social media do not in any way reflect the opinions and beliefs of the governors and all school staff.”

The declaration was signed on behalf of the board of directors, principal and staff of Braniel Kindergarten and Primary School.

A spokesperson for Naiscoil na Seolta said: “We have been offered another place which is in a better location and which is a larger space that will allow us to grow and develop.”

The nursery recently received £ 73,000 from Foras na Gaeilge, the north-south organization for the promotion of the Irish language, for its running costs.

Its stated aim was to bring integrated primary education in Irish to the region.

One of the people behind Naiscoil na Seolta.

Sinn Féin MEP Deirdre Hargey said: “It is scandalous that Naíscoil na Seolta, which is due to open in Braniel PS, has been forced to relocate following a campaign of abuse and hate online.

“Parents, children and school staff shouldn’t have to endure this kind of disgusting behavior.

“Irish language education is inclusive and thriving in Belfast and these disgusting attempts to discourage progress will not be tolerated.

“Online abuse in any form is shameful, but especially when it comes to attacking a preschool.

“We need a strong message from all of society and political leaders, that this campaign of hatred against this Naíscoil is false. “

SDLP East Belfast City Councilor Séamas de Faoite said those behind the hate campaign should be ashamed of themselves.

Lisnasharragh adviser said: “Those who have carried out this hate campaign against preschool children are really twisted and twisted.

“This school was not even open yet, it was due to welcome its first students in September and has already been forced to move.

“This lack of tolerance is disgusting and by no means representative of the majority of the people of East Belfast.

“The opening of an Irish nursery school in east Belfast should have been a symbol of how far we have come in recent decades, but it has now become a symbol of how far we still have to go in Northern Ireland. North.

“That the prospect of infants learning Irish while attending an integrated crèche has sparked such a hate campaign is really hard to understand. It’s also a slap in the face for the great job Linda Ervine and others have done in the community to open up opportunities around the Irish language to a wider audience.

“News like this is something that should have been left long in the past.

“That these things are still happening in 2021 is really disheartening.

“Those behind this hate campaign should stop and question themselves and their pathetic actions, they have done nothing more than blacken the name of their neighborhood and upset young children and their children. families.

“I am delighted that the Naíscoil has already found a new location in East Belfast and I hope that this hate campaign will now end once and for all and that students and teachers will have the opportunity to settle in their new environment at the start of the school year in September.

“I am sure the vast majority of people in East Belfast will be delighted to welcome them.”

Sylvester L. Goldfarb

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