Irish language nursery school in Belfast forced to relocate due to "ongoing social media hate campaign"
"Braniel Nursery and Primary School is not and should never be thought of as a contested space."
Naíscoil na Seolta in Belfast has been forced to relocate due to an "ongoing social media hate campaign".
Naíscoil na Seolta would have been the first Irish language pre-school in east Belfast and was due to open at Braniel Primary School in September.
The school is separate to Braniel Primary School, but was set to be housed in a classroom within the school.
Confirming the news on Wednesday in a letter to parents and staff, the school said "it is with great sadness" that it was choosing to relocate following the "disgusting" social media campaign.
A statement from the school said that "an ongoing social media hate campaign", which it said was conducted by "individuals not connected to the school" had forced its hand. Some of the comments made were described as "disgusting" and "littered with unfounded erroneous allegations about certain individuals and the Naiscoil".
“It is with great sadness and regret that we had to inform our school community today of the decision of the Integrated Naíscoil na Seolta to relocate to another site due to actions of individuals not connected to the school," the statement read.
“Due to an ongoing social media hate campaign against some individuals and the integrated Naiscoil na Seolta, it is with great sadness that it is choosing to relocate to an alternative location.
“A social media campaign was started and fuelled by those who are not connected to the school, nor are parents of our school and who are clearly not interested in facts and truth, who allowed disgusting comments to be posted that were littered with unfounded erroneous allegations about certain individuals and the Naiscoil."
The statement added that the comments were "made mostly by those who are not of our school community" on social media and "do not in any way reflect the opinions and beliefs of the governors and entire staff of the school”.
"Braniel Nursery and Primary School is not and should never be thought of as a contested space," the statement added.
"We are proud to be a shared space for all.
"We welcome all children, parents, families, and individuals irrespective of religion, faith, creed or language and always will."
The statement was signed on behalf of the board of governors, principal and staff of Braniel Nursery and Primary School.