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'Keep Irish out' sign hung outside primary school slammed as 'racist and intimidatory'

The Square in Clough from Google Maps
The Square in Clough from Google Maps The Square in Clough from Google Maps

POLICE have said they are treating a sign stating 'keep Irish out' that was hung outside a primary school in Co Down as a sectarian hate crime.

A report was made to police on Monday morning about the sign outside the school in the village of Clough.

The incident has been described as "a clear attempt to intimidate school children" by South Down Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard.

The sign referred to another Catholic primary school located in nearby Castlewellan, and stated 'keep Irish out of our kids classrooms'.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "Enquiries are ongoing and police would appeal to anyone with any information in relation to the incident, which we are treating as a sectarian hate crime, to contact 101 quoting reference number 393 of 30/01/23."

Mr Hazzard said the sign was "racist and intimidatory", and urged anyone with information to contact police.

"It’s totally disgraceful that a sign attacking children learning the Irish language has been placed outside a local school in Clough," the MP said.

"There is no place in our society for racist threats and this sign is a clear attempt to intimidate school children.

"It’s particularly sinister and worrying that this sign has named a local school. Those responsible should stop now."