Ardoyne sectarian attack: Teenage boy 'shocked' at hate crime assault

  • Published
Media caption,

A teenage boy says he is "shocked and annoyed" after being assaulted in a sectarian attack in north Belfast.

A teenage boy has said he is "shocked and annoyed" after being assaulted in a sectarian hate crime in north Belfast.

Bailey Anderson, 13, was attacked along with another 14-year-old boy on the Ardoyne Road on Saturday 21 May at about 15:00 BST.

Police said the attack was carried out by "two unknown males".

The teenager told the BBC he was targeted for being Protestant and that they were attacked while walking to a band parade in Ballysillan.

He said the pair decided to walk up the Ardoyne Road as buses had been cancelled and it was the shortest route.

Image source, Pacemaker

"As we were walking up, two wee lads jumped off one of the buses and started following up behind the shops."

He added that they were asked where they were came from and received sectarian abuse before being attacked.

"I was scared and shocked that it happened," he said.

The teenager said one of the boys "pushed me against the wall, I hit my head and then started punching me in the face".

"If I do ever go up past that area again, I'll be scared to go up past it.

"It makes me feel annoyed that I can't go somewhere without being attacked because of my religion."

Image caption,
DUP councillor Brian Kingston said one of the boys need hospital treatment after the attack

DUP councillor Brian Kingston said: "This was a totally disgraceful and inexcusable sectarian attack on two innocent boys just minding their own business and trying to make their way from Woodvale up to Ballysillan."

He said that one of the boys had been "punched repeatedly to the head" and another "kneed in the face".

"One has got a black eye, the other has a busted nose and he's required hospital treatment because he's having difficulty breathing normally.

"It was only when two adults saw what was occurring and shouted and ran down that the attackers made off and ran down a side street to Ardoyne."

He added: "I do not believe this is representative of how the vast majority of both communities wish to treat each other and it's very important that every co-operates with the police investigation."

Sinn Féin councillor Gerry McCabe said: "This attack on two young boys on the Ardoyne Road on Saturday was wrong and I condemn it."

Cllr Julie-Anne Corr Johnston of the PUP said that "18 years post peace agreement, we should not be witnessing violent attacks of this nature, particularly amongst our young people".

The condemnations were echoed by Cllr Jolene Bunting of the TUV, who said the attack was "a despicable and cowardly act".