Belfast Telegraph

Polish schoolboy injured in suspected racist attack by boy aged 8 in Co Down park

By Claire Williamson

A Polish schoolboy has suffered an injury to his face following a fight with an eight-year-old boy in a suspected racist attack in Warrenpoint.

On Saturday June 27 at around 5.55pm two boys - one aged 11-years-old and the other eight-years-old - became involved in a fight in Clonallon Park.

A number of other children intervened to break up the fight.

The 11-year-old boy sustained an injury to his face.

Sergeant Graham said: "This is perceived to be a hate incident and enquiries are ongoing. The matter will also be referred to the Youth Diversion Officer.”

The attack has been slammed by Sinn Fein MLA Catriona Ruana who said she believed the boy to be from a Polish family.

Ms Ruane said: “I am disappointed children as young as ten have engaged in what seems to be a racist attack on a boy from a Polish family.

“This young boy has lived most of his life in Ireland and needs to be treated as an equal citizen.

“All forms of hate crimes whether it is racism, sectarianism or homophobia are wrong and we need to stand up and tackle it in all its forms.

“I hope that the parents and schools of the children involved act immediately given the seriousness of the incident to educate these children how wrong racism is and that the boy makes a full and speedy recovery.

Councillor Mickey Ruane added: “We have had a number of families from other countries who have settled in Warrenpoint and the surrounding area over the past number of years. They have been welcomed by all right thinking citizens and have contributed to our society in a really positive way.

“We have always hoped and expected that they would be treated with dignity and respect. It is therefore shocking to find that there are some who would deny that same respect to others who have chosen to come to live in our town, in search for nothing more than a better life for themselves and their children."

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