Northern Ireland news

Former Foyle College building 'gutted' by weekend fire

The former Foyle College building destroyed by fire in Derry on Saturday morning. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Gareth McKeown

THE site of a former secondary school in Derry has been left "gutted" after a suspected arson attack.

Firefighters were called to a blaze at the old Foyle College site on Northland Road at around 3.30am on Saturday and police believe the fire was started deliberately.

Residents living close by had been warned to keep windows and doors closed due to asbestos in the building, but later fire service alleviated these fears.

It is believed the site was the subject of vandalism in the week before the fire, which "gutted" the building, police confirmed.

The site has been vacant since Foyle College moved to a new multi-million pound building at the former Clooney army base on Limavady Road in January. A previous fire at the Northland Road site back in April led to a warnings that the site could become a magnet for antisocial activity.

Sinn Féin councillor Eric McGinley, who visited the site following the blaze, believes it must now be fully secured to prevent further acts of vandalism.

"It was a sad sight to see what was once a bustling home of education for thousands of children in our city now a burnt out shell," he said.

Police have made an appeal for information.

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