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Principal’s ‘concern’ after two suspicious calls to take children out of Co Armagh primary school

St Joseph's Primary School Meigh

A principal has raised his concerns after two suspicious – and anonymous – calls were made to remove children from a Co Armagh primary school for appointments on Wednesday morning.

Gary Trainor, who is the principal at St Joseph’s Primary in Meigh, wrote to parents to highlight the incidents, which have since been reported to police.

He wrote: “Today (Wednesday) we have had two phone calls that have given us slight cause for concern of which I want to make you aware.

Phone call one at 11.30am was asking to take a Primary 6 child out of school for an appointment. We informed the person we did not have a child of that name in attendance and asked if it was the correct St. Joseph’s P.S. The person put the phone down. On its own this is not worrying as mistakes can be made.

“However, four minutes later at 11.34am the office received another phone call asking for an actual Primary 6 pupil to be let out for an appointment. This caller purported to be the child’s father and named his child. When informed they would have to come into the school to sign out their child they put the phone down.”

Mr Trainor said both calls were anonymous and made by two different adult voices.

He added: “The parents of the child in question were contacted and at no point did they phone into the school. Hence, our cause for concern. The incident has been reported to the PSNI

“We are informing our parent/guardian body of this to ensure clarity of information and to emphasise that at no stage was any pupil in danger. We have robust protocols in place to ensure the safety of our children at all times. If at any time you need to take your child out of school you must report to the office and sign Leaving stating reason.

A police spokesperson told Armagh I: “Police received a report of two suspicious phone calls made to a school in the Killeavy area of south Armagh on Wednesday, October 25. Appropriate protocols have been put in place by the school.

“Enquiries remain ongoing at this time and anyone with information that could help our investigation is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 779 25/10/23.”

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