Irish Republican News · December 10, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Catholic children evacuated after Bushmills mob attack

A group of Catholic school children were attacked while on a residential course in County Antrim.

Pupils from St Aloysius' High School in Cushendall were on a course in staunchly loyalist Bushmills when the centre they were staying in was attacked.

Students were asleep in the early hours when windows were broken by bricks, stones and bottles thrown by a loyalist mob.

The children had to be evacuated from the centre.

School principal. James McAuley said the attack ``is to be deplored.''

``It is with deep regret that the staff and pupils of the above named school had to be withdrawn from a residential course at Bushmills Educational Centre on Monday night, due to an incident whereby the centre came under attack,'' he said.

``At this point in time there are no reports of physical injury and all pupils and staff have returned home safely. Both staff and pupils have been left traumatised by the incident and assistance at school level will be offered to all those involved.

``It is appalling that such an attack should take place putting at risk the health and safety of pupils and their teachers and it is to be deplored.''

Moyle Sinn Fein councillor Oliver McMullan described the incident as a ``despicable and cowardly attack on innocent children.''

``Thankfully none of the children were injured but had it notc been for the swift action of teachers and hostel staff who escorted them from the centre things might have been much worse.''

``This was a sectarian incident and one orchestrated by the UDA.

``Teachers and staff are to be praised for doing everything necessary to ensure that none of the children were injured.

``The Department of Education must as a matter of urgency launch an investigation into this incident. Until such time as it can be guaranteed that there will not be a repeat of this mornings grotesque events it is not very likely that the parents of children attending catholic schools will want their children anywhere near Bushmills.''

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© 2003 Irish Republican News