A victims’ campaigner has labelled a Co Tyrone primary school an IRA training ground, after mistaking an Italian flag outside the building for an Irish tricolour.

:::u.tv:::
17 May 2012

The Italian flag flying outside St Patrick’s PS in Donaghmore. (Photo: William Frazer)

Willie Frazer hit out at St Patrick’s Primary in Donaghmore, posting a picture of the school flying the flags of Poland, Turkey and Italy on Facebook.

Seeming to mistake the red in the Italian flag for orange and thinking it was an Irish flag, he commented: “This is a school in Tyrone flying the Irish flag on the school grounds why”.

The 51-year-old founder of Families Acting for Innocent Relatives also claimed the school was “the junior headquarters of SF/IRA youth, or it may as well be”.

“I wounder do they also train the children in how to use weapons, for it seems they can do what they wont.” [sic]

–Willie Frazer

The school was flying the flags as part of a European project, during which 11 teachers from the countries represented visited the school.

St Patrick’s principal Dera Calahane expressed shock at “how vindictive and inciteful the comments were”.

She said: “The comments made are inaccurate. The three flags on display were the Italian, Polish and Turkish national flags.

“These were flying as part of the welcome to our Comenius Partner Schools who were visiting at the time.

“It appears some individual has mistaken the Italian flag for the Irish flag. The school is currently taking legal advice and is bringing the matter to the PSNI.”

Mrs Calahane added that, although the visiting teachers were not aware of the incident, she fears they could find out.

“I would hate to think that the school’s relationship would be damaged,” she added.

The flags have since been taken down by the school and the pictures have been removed from Facebook.

Mr Frazer further commented on the situation on the social networking site, posting a message which said: “The flag seen flying at this school is not the irish tricolour, and it may look very like it but i can asure people it is not.” [sic]

A PSNI spokesperson said police have spoken to those involved “in an attempt to resolve what appears to have been a misunderstanding regarding the flying of flags at the school”.

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