Belfast Telegraph

Kids injured and traumatised after coach attacked by thugs

by Natalie Irvine

Local children taking part in a cross-community project have been left “traumatised” after their coach was attacked with missiles.

The coach belonging to Belfast Bus Company came under attack with “large bricks” at around 9.30pm on Monday, August 16, along the Kinds Road, Tullycarnet. Four young people had to receive medical treatment for their injuries.

Susan Sullivan, manager of Belfast Bus Company, said: “These young people on the coach were all aged between 14 and 16, and were returning to their holiday accommodation at Queen’s Elms Village in south Belfast after an evening of ice skating at Dundonald Ice Bowl.

“They were all part of a cross-community project — there were children from the east and west of the city as well as a group of young students visiting from Berlin.

“We have footage of the attack —children are screaming and jumping out of their seats to get away from the windows.

“Two of the windows were completely smashed by what the police have told me, were very large bricks. Four young people received superficial cuts to their faces from all the flying glass, and were later treated at the scene by ambulance men.

“Two were later taken to City Hospital for further treatment. I am pleased to say they have all made a full recovery from their injuries. However all of the children were left in a state of shock —they have been extremely traumatised by the experience and I’m sure are not going to be leaving with a very good impression of our country.”

Alliance councillor Judith Cochrane said: “I am appalled that someone would stoop so low as to carry out an attack like this.

“This must have been very frightening for those on the bus and I want to wish those hurt a quick recovery.

“A large amount of money has been invested in the area to attract tourists and this incident is deeply destructive. Those involved in this attack must be brought to justice. People in the area will be disgusted this has happened.”

Robin Newton MLA said: “At this time of economic difficulty, when Northern Ireland is increasingly reliant on tourism to support jobs in the economy, this type of incident is disgraceful. This action will be condemned by all right thinking people.”

UUP councillor Jim Rodgers said: “This attack was absolutely disgraceful and I am relieved to hear nobody was seriously injured.”

Police are urging any witnesses to come forward.

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