Graffiti daubed on boy's memorial

The scene of Thomas McDonald's death

Graffiti has been daubed on a wall in north Belfast mocking the controversial death of a Protestant boy three years ago.

The words, on a wall at the Shore Road, were quickly painted out by residents of the nationalist Bawnmore estate on Saturday morning.

They said that they found it offensive.

Thomas McDonald, 16, was struck by a car as he rode his bicycle along Whitewell Road in September 2001.

The Protestant youth was knocked from his bike by a Catholic woman's car when she chased him along a footpath after he had thrown a brick at her windscreen.

The County Antrim mother of six was sentenced to two years in prison for Mr McDonald's manslaughter - Alison McKeown, 33, admitted killing him by dangerous driving but denied murdering him.

Band parade

Thomas McDonald was killed followed rioting between rival loyalist and nationalist crowds at the Whitewell interface.

McKeown's defence counsel had argued that although it had been a rash and dangerous act, it had been carried out in the heat of the moment.

One of those who objected to the graffiti which was discovered on Saturday was a man whose memorial to his stepson was destroyed during the week.

He blamed loyalists for that attack but said both were wrong.

The Whitewelll road was cordoned off on Saturday while a band parade was held in memory of Thomas McDonald.

There was a heavy police presence in the area.

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