Limerick teacher caught up in Saudi school attack returns home 

 Brave Annie to head back after summer holidays 

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Limerick teacher caught up in Saudi school attack returns home 

Jon and Annie Selwyn, Doon

THE COUNTY Limerick teacher caught up in a school shooting in Saudi Arabia is back home with her loving family.

Annie Selwyn, from Doon, had to run and hide in an underground cupboard after a “disgruntled former employee” opened fire in the Kingdom School in Riyadh. 

A vice-principal and maintenance supervisor were killed while a worker was injured. The attack occurred last week and now Annie is back in east Limerick. She flew home at the weekend said her dad, Pakie O’Brien.

“She get a very special welcome when she came home on Sunday. We’re very glad to have her back home and she is glad to be home. She is home now for the school holidays,” said Pakie. However, the brave young woman in her thirties isn’t letting what happened stop her returning for the new term.

“She will go back again. Her husband Jon is working in Saudi Arabia. She is going back to the very same school. She is teaching the princes and princesses of Saudi Arabia,” said Pakie.

Like many young Irish teachers she couldn’t get a full-time job after qualifying and was forced to emigrate. Annie taught in England before moving to Riyadh.

Pakie described what happened as a “scary situation”.

“She and other teachers hid in an underground cupboard after they heard the gunshots. She was very upset, naturally. It is very worrying – she was so far away but thank God she is alright.

"Our sympathies go out to the people who were killed. You hear about these stories so often but they never come to your own door,” said Pakie. 

It wasn’t a terrorist attack and no children were present in the exclusive fee-paying school at the time of the shooting. A “disgruntled former employee” who according to one Middle East website is “still at large” is the chief suspect.

​CEO of Kingdom Holding and chairman of Kingdom Schools, Talal Al-Maiman said: "It is with regret that the administration building of Kingdom Schools witnessed a shooting incident by an Arab national who was dismissed from the school four years ago on the basis of anger issues and an unstable personality." 

Annie is one of seven siblings and is from a very popular and well known family in Doon. Pakie, his wife Anne and daughter Mary English ran Anne’s shop in the village until very recently.