Location Of Theft in AQUA BLUE
URL Of Linked Article In STEEL BLUE or GREEN
Full Content Of Article In BLACK
Theft Description In Body Of Article in RED

Friday, March 07, 2014


Monday, March 3, 2014 12:00
Stolen memories
By Pat O'Rourke
GARDAI are continuing to investigate a burglary at a Northside school in which the theft of 20 laptops left children, parents and teaching staff distraught. 
At approximately 2.30am last Thursday (February 27), thieves broke into Our Lady Immaculate Junior School, Darndale, and stole the computers which contained the children’s and teachers’ work that had been built up over a number of years.
Years of photographs of outings, celebrations and concerts were among the items stored on the laptops.
The laptops were vital in the workings of the school’s interactive whiteboards.  
The school has written to the parents seeking information about the crime in the hope that they get all or even some of the computers back undamaged.  
Nina Garcia, who has two children attending the school – Eli (5) and Hayden (7) - said she and other parents were shocked by the theft, when they arrived at the school with their children.
“It’s a disgrace and very distressing,” Ms Garcia told Northside People. 
“All of the children’s work was on the laptops. It was very upsetting for all of them, the parents and the teaching staff. This is the lowest of the low. 
“It’s very bad, especially for an area that struggles to get funding. It’s vital that the children start off with these resources at a young age and that they’re not left behind. It’s not fair.” 
Ms Garcia said her son, Hayden, who has autism, has come on in leaps and bounds since he joined the school in September.
“The interactive whiteboards make lessons much easier for the children and the teachers,” she said.  
Ms Garcia said she would welcome any funding appeal that might be set up to purchase replacement computers.
Principal of Our Lady Immaculate Junior School, Breda Murray, is appealing to anyone who may have information about the theft to come forward.
“While there was damage to the windows and the staffroom during the break-in, our greatest concern is the laptops because it’s school memories lost,” Ms Murray told Northside People. 
“What happened is very regrettable and the parents are outraged. If there is one positive thing to come out of this, it is the huge support from the parents and the wider community.
“We’ve already received offers of fundraising events (to purchase replacements), including one from the local soccer club, which is very encouraging.  
“The computers contained all the children’s work as well as the teachers’ plans and it’s a huge loss.  
“The interactive whiteboards in particular are a fantastic teaching resource.”
Ms Murray added: “It was not nice for the children to come in and have to face this. They need to be protected from this sort of thing.” 
A spokesperson for the Garda Press Office told Northside People that the thieves gained access to the school by smashing windows. 
“CCTV will be viewed as part of the investigation,” the spokesperson said. 
A total of 210 children, boys and girls, aged 4-8, attend Our Lady Immaculate Junior School.
If anyone has any information in relation to this incident, phone Coolock Garda Station on 01-6664200.

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