Lecale Councillor Cadogan Enright has condemned the continuing series of break-ins afflicting local schools and business. “In the month of February there have seen 3 break-ins at the St Mary’s High School on the Ardglass road by local criminals who appear to be able to operate with immunity in Downpatrick Town at night. These appear to be a continuation of a series of break-ins that afflicted local schools in the run-up to Christmas.”

“The break-in St Mary’s High School last week end was particularly wicked. Year 13/14 students have been seriously affected as ‘A’ level course-work was on the computers stolen.” Said Cllr Enright

Headmistress Sheila Darling said “St Mary’s High School has been broken into on three separate occasions since the 4th February 2011. On each occasion windows were broken and or removed from their frames and young men dressed in balaclavas were recorded on the premises. These burglaries included laptops and several Apple Mac Computers containing course work for ‘A’ Level. This work is vital to the students and if not recovered will have serious implications for the student’s coming up to their final examinations and in their preparations for university.”

“If you have any information, no matter how small that might help us regain our computers and stop these burglaries please contact either the school or crime-stoppers as soon as possible, there is no need to leave your name. The information can be left anonymously on 0800 555 111.” Said Ms Darling.

Cadogan Enright said, “I am aware of recent break-ins at local schools like St Patrick’s in Saul and several other local schools by what appear to be professional thieves using the same MO as at Saint Mary’s. I am disappointed at the police response to date, and will be raising the issue at this Thursday’s DPP meeting in Downpatrick. These people need to be put behind bars along with those who handle the stolen goods. St Marys is a very successful school working hard to make a real difference to the lives of all its students. Education is the right of all but we are being hampered by the actions of some within our community and we need your help to sort this out.”

“Our local schools are widely recognised as centres of excellence within the education sector in NI and it is unfortunate that these criminals are prepared to interfere with the education of our children by stealing laptops and other resources when the schools discretionary budgets are under serious pressure. This undermines the tremendous work of our local teachers and ancillary staff who are delivering real value in our local schools” Concluded Lecale Cllr Cadogan Enright