Catholic school children attacked
North Belfast schoolchildren travelling home from Our Lady of
Mercy secondary school in the predominantly loyalist Silverstream
area of North Belfast are being repeatedly targeted in sectarian
In the latest of a series of incidents, the bus carrying children
from Our Lady's school was attacked by a mob of around 60 boys
from the nearby Protestant Boys Model school.
At the junction of the Bilston and Ballysillan Roads, bricks were
hurled through the windows of the bus, injuring a number of
school girls and damaging the vehicle. Fearing for the safety of
his passengers, the driver drove to nearby St. Gabriel's Catholic
boy's school where the children were brought inside for ``shelter
Eight pupils were taken to the Mater hospital where they were
treated for shock and a number of minor injuries. The riotous
behaviour of pupils attending the Boys Model school had already
led to City Bus suspending their service from the school.
``Their own bus was taken off them because they were so badly
behaved and then they attacked our bus,'' said one pupil from Our
The attack, which took place around 4pm on Tuesday 4 October, was
the third sectarian attack inflicted on children travelling on
the bus to the Catholic girls school in a week. In an earlier
incident, a gang of boys pulled the doors off the bus in an
attempt to get inside the vehicle.
In a statement Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly said that it was,
``incumbent on leaders of the Protestant community to do all in
their power to prevent these attacks on school children''.