Carrick schools re-examine travel plans after Paris attacks

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Two Carrickfergus schools are being forced to re-examine their travel plans following last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

Both Carrickfergus Grammar and Downshire School are due to hold excursions to the French capital next year, in February and June respectively.

Over 130 people were killed during last week’s violent onslaught, which saw a concert venue, football stadium, pubs and restaurants targeted by extremists.

France has since declared an ongoing state of emergency which could last for several months.

While members of Carrickfergus Grammar’s Music Society are expected to go ahead with their trip to the city, the attacks may influence the planned programme of events.

Edward Craig, head of the Music Department said: “At the present time the planned tour to Paris in February is unaffected by the terrible events in the city last weekend, although it will be part of the consideration of the activities that the young people may take part in.

“Currently they are scheduled to give recitals in Notre Dame Cathedral and the Madeleine Church so hopefully all will be well.”

A trip for pupils in years nine and ten at Downshire will also depend on the developing situation in Paris, according to principal, Jacqueline Stewart.

“At the moment we are just waiting to see how things pan out in Paris as to whether the trip will go ahead, but we will very much be guided by parents’ wishes in that,” she said.

Meanwhile, Downshire joined other schools in the town to observe a one-minute silence on Monday morning.

Individual tributes were made across every subject area.

“Every single department in the school did something; for example our music department played the French national anthem after observing the minute’s silence,” Mrs Stewart added. “The French department looked at it from the point of view of how the population of Paris would be feeling at the moment.”