A Catholic teacher has been forced out of her job at a leading Northern Ireland school by sectarian bigots who targeted her on social media.
Catherine Seeley, a 25-year-old teacher at the Protestant Boys’ Model School in Belfast, is also a Sinn Fein councillor.
The website TheJournal.ie, reports that she has left her position following online sectarian abuse about her political affiliation. A statement from Sinn Féin has claimed that Seeley was targeted by the Protestant Coalition group which was co-founded by loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer.
The report says the Protestant Coalition posted links to an interview conducted with Seeley on its Facebook page and pointed to Seeley’s involvement in “marches, memorials and demonstrations”.
The group told one user: “The purpose of this post is to highlight how can someone with the quotes she has used [sic] able to teach Protestant children”.
Sinn Féin has now called on Unionist leaders to tackle such fringe groups and defend the right of people to work free from sectarian harassment.
Sinn Féin education spokesperson in Northern Ireland Chris Hazzard said: “No teacher, whatever their beliefs or religion, should be singled out and targeted in such a way.”
In response, the Protestant Coalition criticized Hazzard for his comments and stood behind its Facebook post.
A statement from the group said: “We applaud your stance on this Mr Hazzard but it didn’t stop Sinn Fein/IRA from murdering both Roman Catholics and Protestants who were employed in many different jobs just to try and achieve their goal.”