Northern Ireland

PSNI arrest one after fight at Strabane school

Holy Cross College Strabane
Image caption PSNI said the arrested male was released back into the care of his parents

A police investigation is under-way after a fight involving a number of pupils broke out at a school in Strabane, County Tyrone.

One boy was arrested during the melee at Holy Cross College on Tuesday.

It happened in the canteen at about 12:40 GMT. The boy was later released back into the care of his parents.

The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) confirmed that two teachers and some pupils suffered minor injuries.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service also attended the scene, but said that no-one was taken in for treatment.

The parents of all pupils involved had been contacted and no serious injuries had been reported, police said.

About 600 pupils are believed to have been present when the trouble broke out.

Image caption Maria Doherty, the school's principal, said the police were called for a 'supportive role'

'Running scared'

It is understood the fight broke out between two pupils, who were separated and taken outside.

However, about six pupils - who are believed to have been friends of the two pupils - then got involved in another altercation.

A parent said her 14-year-old daughter had been very distressed by what happened.

"She says everybody was scared, running, didn't know what to do or how to get away from the situation," said Eileen Whisker.

She added that her daughter and other pupils had been reduced to tears by the incident.

"She doesn't want to go to school tomorrow," said Ms Whisker.

Image caption It is believed the fight broke out in the corner of the school's canteen

The school's principal, Maria Doherty, said the police were called in a "supportive role".

"We decided to call the PSNI because of the number of students we had in the canteen and social area at the time and the potential this situation had to escalate," she said.

Seamus Hanna, of teaching union, INTO, praised how the school dealt with the situation.

"There were injuries to members of staff, because members of staff put themselves in harm's way," he said.

"Teachers in Northern Ireland are of the highest quality and teachers at Holy Cross are of the highest quality.

"When these situations arise, personal concern goes out of the way so they can make sure pupils are safe."