Outrage as 'hackers' replace Irish primary school's website with 'shocking and malicious' pornography

Outrage as 'hackers' replace Irish primary school's website with 'shocking and malicious' pornography

AN Irish primary school's website has been replaced with pornographic content after it was "hacked" over the weekend.

St Ronan's Primary School in Newry, Co. Down was the victim of an apparent online attack on Sunday which saw visitors to its webpage greeted with inappropriate images and videos.

The school was first alerted to the issue when they were tweeted by someone who noticed "something wrong" with the site.

School officials explained that their official page had been hacked and that they were trying to get it blocked before more people fell foul of the exploit.

Another Twitter user informed the school that its website was now registered to an organisation in Russia, while the school later claimed that "no government agency is able to assist" before informing the police.

But it has emerged that the lease for the school's domain name had expired and the website was "legitimately purchased" by an unknown entity.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police received a report of an incident in relation to a website in the name of a school in the Newry area.

"On further police investigation it was established that the lease for this website had expired and it was legitimately purchased by another user.

"This website is in no way related to the school."

The school has been in contact with the domain hosts in an attempt remove the graphic imagery.

However, the material was still visible to visitors clicking on the school's page on Monday afternoon.

Local SDLP councillor Gary Stokes has branded the problem "vile" and condemned those responsible.

He told Dublin Live: "This is shocking and absolutely malicious.

"It is disgraceful that someone would think it is amusing to target a primary school in this way.

"It is also very disturbing for the children who range in age from 4 to 11, my thoughts are with the pupils and parents who have seen this.

"The police should be fully investigating this sinister attack and I would urge anyone who knows anything about it to come forward."