A Catholic teenager who was attacked by loyalists in north Belfast on Sunday evening has recounted a savage sectarian assault as he was out for a cycle.
Flynn Maguire was cycling on the Limestone Road area of North Belfast when he was attacked by an older loyalist, and then set upon by a group of about a dozen youths.
After a heavy beating, they stole his cycle and phone, leaving the 15-year-old to run in fear of his life, soaked in blood coming from an eight centimetre wound on his head.
Flynn was still visibly shaken when speaking days later about the incident, which took place near the loyalist Tiger’s Bay area.
“I was coming home from being out on my bike,” he said. “I saw a group of wee lads and heard them shout something at me. I knew not to stop because I was on my own.
“I got a fair bit away from them until I went past this man who was in a grey tracksuit, bald and had a dog. He pushed me off the bike which gave the wee lads time to catch up with me.”
They asked for his name and where he was from, before attacking. Their blows left him with bruises, scars and a nasty gash to his head with blood pouring out.
After failing to get help from passing motorists, he ran for miles to a friend’s house before he was taken to hospital for treatment.
“After I managed to get away I had blood pouring out of my head. It was disappointing that a few cars went past me and none stopped.”
Flynn’s mother Clare said her son only wanted to go for some exercise during the virus lockdown.
“When I got in, the blood was everywhere it just wouldn’t stop. He was covered,” she said. “I phoned the police and then took him straight to the hospital, where he had his wound glued. It was very frightening.”