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Police make safety presentation in Irish at Co Down school

Constable Phil Quinn spoke to the Co Down pupils in Irish on the subject of internet safety. Picture by BBC
Gareth McKeown

THE PSNI has made history by delivering its first safety talk in Irish to pupils at a Co Down school.

Officers visited Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche in Castlewellan on Tuesday morning and addressed pupils in the Irish language on the subject of internet safety.

It was the first time that officers in Northern Ireland have delivered such a presentation in Irish.

The talk was organised as part of the internationally recognised 'Safer Internet Day', celebrated on February 7.

School principal Aingeal Nic an tSábhaisigh told the Irish News that officers have previously given the same talk to pupils, but in English.

"We were just delighted to be part of it," she said.

"Obviously we're an Irish medium school so we want the children to be educated in Irish as much as possible. We look around for talks, services and agencies who we can go visit or work with in Irish so it was great that the PSNI offered their services to us. It was just great they were prepared to do that in the language that the children are educated in.

"They gave different presentations, one aimed at the younger children and the other for the older children and were able to present that in Irish, talk to the children in Irish and answer questions in Irish so it worked very well," she added

Constable Phil Quinn of the Downpatrick Neighbourhood policing team said delivering the talk in Irish "just made sense" and added that it had been a "great experience" to be a part of.

"We have to deliver the message to the community in the way they want it," he told the BBC.

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