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De La Salle College: Classroom assistant appears in court

De La Salle College in west Belfast

A FORMER classroom assistant at De La Salle College has appeared in court charged with common assault.

Eileen Hall (57) from Colinbrook Park in Dunmurry entered a plea of not guilty at Laganside magistrates court on Friday.

The charge relates to an alleged incident involving a pupil at the school on October 14 last year.

The incident was central to an escalation in tensions at the school between staff and management.

Up to 15 of the 70-strong teaching staff at the west Belfast called in sick on four separate days in one week in November.

One group of teachers took two days leave before returning to work followed by a different group taking the next two days.

At the time they said they were concerned about the incident the previous month and how it was subsequently handled.

As part of this dispute, teachers also stood in silence outside their classrooms for a short period in a show of solidarity with their disciplined colleague.

While working at De La Salle, Ms Hall was employed by the Education Authority, which replaced the former Belfast Education and Library Board. It is understood that she also performed other non-teaching roles at the school.

Her case on Friday was adjourned until May 6.

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