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Sinn Féin call for calm after sectarian attack

23 January, 2006

Sinn Féin North Belfast Margaret McClenaghan has appealed for calm after four teenaged girls were attacked by a sectarian mob on their way to school in the Ballysillan area this morning. The four girls were attacked whilst making their way from their homes in Ligoniel to Our Lady of Mercy Girls Secondary School on Bilston Road.

The girls were spat on, had objects thrown at them and were subsequently chased back into the Ligoniel area - in the opposite direction from which their school journey should have taken them. They were also verbally attacked by an adult passer-by whilst running from the mob.

Councillor McClenaghan said:

"I would appeal for calm in the community at this point in time. School children should be allowed to go to and from their school in a safe environment regardless of the uniform they are wearing, the area the school is situated, or the area they may have to go through in order to get to school.

"The young girls caught up in the attack this morning are understandably very shaken at what has happened and I am calling on people with influence in the Upper Crumlin Road area to work to ensure that this type of incident doesn't happen again.

"North Belfast has a number of Interface workers at present tasked with dealing with this type of situation and I would call on them all to work together constructively to ensure the safety of all school children in the area." ENDS

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