Named and Shamed
Identity of young thugs involved in attacks on St Louise’s first years revealed to Community Watch

The young thugs behind the firework attack on St Louise’s first years have been identified to the Andersonstown News and their names have been passed on to St James’ Community Watch, along with photographs taken by an eyewitness of another attack at the same spot.

A concerned parent, who witnessed the vicious firework attack on first year pupils last Tuesday afternoon – reported in last Thursday’s Andersonstown News – has described the attack, as well as numerous others he has witnessed since the beginning of term. He has given us the names of five of the culprits – we passed them on to Community Watch.

"I saw that child being burnt,” said the shocked parent, who asked not to be named. "That could have been one of my daughters.

"It’s just a lottery for those wee girls leaving school. Who is going to get hurt? Who is going to get burnt? These bullies are deliberately tripping the girls up. I saw one girl fall last week and she really, really hurt herself," said the parent.

“I am so fed-up with this, I’m fed-up with watching this and being powerless to prevent it.”

The parent recently started to collect his two daughters – both St Louise’s pupils – due to his girls being "too frightened to go home on their own.” Waiting for his daughters outside the school he says he has witnessed first hand the abuse inflicted by a group of five or six boys.

“I’ve seen these boys stand at the gates and hurl eggs, flour and even lumps of wood at the girls as they leave school, and if they are not outside the school they are standing in the Bog Meadows waiting to hurt as many girls as they can.

“And, believe it or not, the gang have even thrown bottles filled with water and frozen. Where did those come from? These attacks aren’t simply vicious, they’re obviously thought-out and planned too.

“They have also set the bin outside the school gates on fire several times now, and with fireworks being set off every day, it’s just a matter of time before someone gets really hurt.”

Having spoken to the principal of St Louise’s, Sister Rosaleen McMahon, the concerned parent said he wished to thank the school for their support, but he acknowledged there was little the school could do to combat the problem.

“The principal and her staff are doing their best, but the boys are aware that staff are powerless outside the gates of the school. What are they going to do? Give them a hundred lines for their behaviour? The staff are very concerned about their girls, they know how dangerous this is, but they need the help of the community. Everybody knows who the boys are and have seen them attacking the girls.

“These boys are cowards, you don’t see them hanging about outside their own school do you? No, because they know if they hurt someone there, they’d get hit back.

“It’s child abuse, and it’s criminal and it is the community’s responsibility to help stop this happening.”

A spokesman from St James’ Community Watch confirmed that they had received the names of the boys involved. They said a number of them were already known to them and that they would be discussing the matter with the parents of the boys.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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