Belfast schoolboy fearful of walking in Ardoyne after sectarian assault
A 13-year-old schoolboy beaten up in a sectarian attack says he is fearful of returning to Ardoyne after the assault.
Bailey Anderson and his 14-year-old friend were punched in the face by two older boys as they walked up Ardoyne Road in north Belfast at around 3pm on Saturday.
The teenager said he was targeted for being Protestant, and that he and his friend were attacked while walking to a band parade in Ballysillan.
He said the pair decided to walk up Ardoyne Road as buses had been cancelled and it was the shortest route.
"As we were going up two wee lads jumped off one of the buses and they came right behind us and started saying: 'Lads, where are you from?'" he said.
"We didn't answer them and then they walked over beside my mate and they just started punching us.
"They punched me in the face and then they punched my mate on the nose and bust his nose open.
"They just said: 'They're dirty wee Prods', and then they said: 'Hit him harder'."
The schoolboy said the attackers fled the scene when they were challenged by a man who had come across the assault.
He added: "If I do ever go up past that area again, I'll be scared.
"It makes me feel annoyed that I can't go somewhere without being attacked because of my religion."
Sinn Fein councillor Gerry McCabe has hit out at those behind the assault.
"This attack on two young boys on the Ardoyne Road on Saturday was wrong and I condemn it," he said.
"I would encourage anyone with information on this attack to come forward and bring it to the PSNI."
DUP councillor Brian Kingston described the incident as an "utterly disgraceful and blatantly sectarian attack on two innocent boys".
Meanwhile, police are appealing for witnesses to the assault, which they are treating as a sectarian hate crime.