Pupils protest against McGuinness
Wednesday 08 December 1999
Classes of at least six schools were suspended after pupils walked out and, in one case, staged a march into Belfast city centre. Teachers say they cannot physically prevent children leaving their classes or school buildings. They, and trade union sources, said they were worried about the safety aspects of children overflowing on to the streets and about politics being brought into the classroom.
Mr McGuinness said he would not be deflected by the protests, which he claimed were co-ordinated by the Rev Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist party. The DUP said that, while they were not organising the protests, they supported the moves. David Trimble, the First Minister, sought to calm the situation by indicating that Mr McGuinness, as Education Minister, did not have unilateral powers, and would have to produce policies in concert with colleagues on the new executive.
Pupils at some of the protests waved Union and Ulster flags, chanting: "We want Paisley" and singing Orange songs with lyrics such as "We're up to our necks in Fenian blood, surrender or you'll die." Many on the march exhibited not so much indignant protest but what looked suspiciously like elation at missing classes for the day. The DUP's Ian Paisley Jnr said: "This idea that we manipulate children is just nonsense."
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...
£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...