Attack on son of DUP man was sectarian

Frank McCoubrey
Frank McCoubrey
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The son of a DUP councillor has been attacked in north Belfast, the party has said.

The incident involving the Belfast Model schoolboy happened in Ardoyne.

DUP councillor Brian Kingston, said the victim is the son of his party colleague Frank McCoubrey.

Mr Kingston said the boy was taken to hospital for bruising and swelling.

A video of what happened has been circulating on social media sites.

A PSNI spokesman said officers are investigating the incident and have made an appeal for information.

Sergeant Matt King said: “We have received a report that a male youth was assaulted and subsequently attended hospital for injuries he sustained. They are not believed to be serious and he has since been discharged from hospital.

“I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this assault to contact police in Tennent Street on 101, quoting reference number 1697 05/09/19. I would also appeal to anyone in the video to also contact us as they may have information that could assist our enquiries.”

Mr Kingston said the incident has heightened tensions at the Twaddell/Ardoyne interface, adding that police are deploying additional resources in the area.

“We would appeal for calm in the aftermath of this appalling attack and for united efforts across the community to bring those responsible to justice and to restore calm,” he said.

SDLP councillor Nichola Mallon said: “We are trying to build a city that is free from the scourge of sectarianism, where people and communities can live and work together.

“It is distressing to see the footage of young people engaging in what very clearly appears to be a sectarian attack on other kids based on the school they go to and their religion.

“This is a problem for all of us. Sectarianism is a learned behaviour and we all have to commit to erasing it from our society.”