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Anger As IRA Bomber To Be Appointed As Governor At Prestigious Grammar School

Sinn Féin logo1 Anger As IRA Bomber To Be Appointed As Governor At Prestigious Grammar SchoolNI- A proposal to include a convicted IRA bomber on the board of governors at a prestigious Northern Ireland grammar school has met angry reactions from parents.  The proposed appointment of triple killer Paul Kavanagh at Lumen Christi College in Londonderry was met with heavy public outcry, after he was put forward by the Department of Education.

Paul Kavanagh received a prison sentence of five life terms for a bomb attack on Chelsea Army Barracks in London in September 1981.  The nail bomb attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army killed two civilians- 59 year old Nora Field and 18 year old John Breslin who died in hospital from his injuries from the 30lb bomb.  He was released later as part of the Good Friday Agreement and became a close advisor to First Minister Martin McGuinness, playing a role in Northern Ireland’s political powering-sharing.

Contrary to the DoE’s nominated person, the Metropolitan Police said it didn’t agree with the choice however going back to the violent era was not in anybody’s interests.  “I think it is what we call progress. We don’t necessarily agree with it but returning to the bad old days does no one any good,” said a spokesperson.

Paul Kavanagh was nominated to sit on the board of governors by the Department of Education minister John O’Dowd.  The board is responsible for initiating policies for the school and monitoring performance. Speaking about Paul Kavangh a spokesperson for the party said “This has included spending over four years as a governor of a local school in Derry,”

Lumen Christi College in Londonderry currently ranks as the highest performing school at GCSE stage, in Northern Ireland.  Demand for places at the school is very high and competition is fierce from parents to secure places for their children.

The move has been described as ‘somewhat hypocritical’ by some commentators, since whilst a member of Sinn Fein has been nominated for a grammar school board, the Party has a policy of abolishing separate criteria for secondary and grammar school admissions.

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