Principals ‘extremely shocked’ after pupil hospitalised

Principals from two north Belfast schools have expressed their disappointment following an incident involving pupils in the Ardoyne area yesterday.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 2:51 pm
Police believe the incident occurred in the Ardoyne shop front area. Pic by Google.

A video posted on social media yesterday (Thursday) appeared to show a group of schoolboys being chased along a stretch of the Crumlin Road.

Police received a report that a young male was assaulted in the area on Thursday afternoon.

The DUP said the victim is the son of its Belfast councillor Frank McCoubrey.

DUP Cllr Brian Kingston said the assault occurred close to Ardoyne shops and other pupils “had to flee from the scene having been threatened, running through cars on the Crumlin Road”.

He added that Mr McCoubrey’s son, a pupil at Boys’ Model, was treated in hospital after the attack.

Mr Kingston went on to appeal for information to be brought forward to the police to help them identify the person or persons responsible.

In the wake of the incident, a joint statement has been issued by Mary Montgomery, principal at the Boys’ Model, and Paul Berne, acting principal at Edmund Rice College, detailing how they “are working closely to ensure that all boys remain safe as they travel to and from school”.

The head teachers said: “The principals of both schools are extremely shocked and disappointed by what has happened and are working closely to ensure that all boys remain safe as they travel to and from school.

“The work of both schools will remain focused on building positive relationships through the many cross community projects in which both schools are currently involved.

“Both principals expressed their concern for the injured pupil and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Detectives are continuing to appeal for information following the altercation.

Sergeant Matt King said: “We have received a report that a male youth was assaulted and subsequently attended hospital for injuries he sustained. They are not believed to be serious and he has since been discharged from hospital.

“I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this assault to contact police in Tennent Street on 101, quoting reference number 1697 05/09/19. I would also appeal to anyone in the video to also contact us as they may have information that could assist our enquiries.”