Northern Ireland news

President Michael D Higgins opens new St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon

President Michael D Higgins opens St Patrick's Academy Dungannon. Picture by Mark Marlow

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has opened a £27 million building for St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon.

Around 1,300 pupils will be accommodated in the new school in Co Tyrone.

St Patrick's Academy was established in September 2003 following the amalgamation of St Patrick's Girls' and St Patrick's Boys' Academies.

Yesterday, the president and his wife Sabina received a short tour of the school, during which pupils briefed them on the new facilities.

Catholic primate archbishop Eamon Martin celebrated a Mass and dedicated a new oratory.

A small anti-abortion protest was held outside to coincide with the president's visit.

Tyrone Pro-Life Network spokeswoman Catherine Sewell said “we have succeeded in putting the abortion issue at the centre of the agenda in Tyrone ahead of May's local elections.

"Also, we have shown that people here in the north are not afraid to stand up to the radically pro-abortion establishment from the south, which is trying to impose its abortion death culture on the six counties," she said.

Fermanagh and Omagh Aontú councillor Rosemarie Shields, who attended the event, said people across the north and Tyrone "do not want the north to be next".

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