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Michelle O Neill 1.JPG
Michelle O Neill 1.JPG
UK News

Sinn Fein leader says school's prayer wasn't right approach when she fell pregnant at 16

by Alex Collett

Sinn Fein's deputy leader says, when she fell pregnant at a teen, she was prayed over and felt she 'had sinned' 

Michelle O'Neill, says she was made to feel she had done something wrong. 

Ms O'Neill talked about her time at school in the 1980s and 1990s and how she became pregnant at 16-years-old while studying for her GCSE's at St Patricks Girls' Academy in Dungannon, County Tryone. 

Speaking to the BBC she said: "It was a Catholic grammar.

"A 16-year-old girl being pregnant was frowned upon and they wouldn't have been the kindest in terms of their approach to supporting me at that time."

When asked by the Mr Carruthers whether she felt the church had played a part in the school's approach, Ms O'Neill said some in the school had prayed over her.

She said: "It was actually when I'd just got pregnant. It was nearly like, you know, that I had sinned and therefore I must be prayed upon which obviously was not the right approach."

"My parents made that clear also to the school leadership at the time."

Despite Ms O Neill, giving birth to her daughter six days before her first GCSE exam, she was determined to sit them, stating: "It was my right to come back to the school to finish my education."

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