Proposed renovations of the St Joseph’s High School in Newry could make it look less like an outdated maximum security prison, according to a local councillor.
Opened in 1958, the building quickly picked up a reputation locally as looking more like Maghaberry Prison than a friendly secondary school.
“When we were on breaks we looked more like prisoners in an exercise yard”, explained ex-pupil Mickey Phelan, who served five years between 1997 and 2002. “All we were missing were the orange jumpsuits and chains”.
Councillor Davy Hyland, who is organising funding for the work, explained: “The planned renovations could finally help Newry kids feel like they are walking to school rather than starting a five year sentence for aggravated burglary every morning”.
“As for making the kids act less like violent and aggressive prison inmates, that’s another issue entirely”, he added.