Monday, March 22, 1999 Published at 17:25 GMT
Hunt for 'punishment beating' gang
Ian Price is recovering in hospital after the attack
Police are hunting a gang who viciously beat up a 13-year-old boy in a paramilitary style attack in Northern Ireland.
His mother, Grace, was hysterical when she heard what had happened to her son.
She said that at first she feared he was dead. "My legs just went from under me, nobody knows what it is like to get that sort of news," she said. "I would never wish it on any other mother, it is the most terrible feeling."
Mr Ingram said: "These thugs have stooped to a new low attacking a 13-year-old boy. I share the concern and horror of local people and local councillors at this appalling act of brutality."
Ian Price is one of the youngest people ever to suffer a paramilitary beating.
In separate incidents another six were treated for injuries after further attacks.
Detectives investigating the attack on the teenager described the beating as "absolutely horrific".
Condemning the beating, the Royal Ulster Constabulary said that the boy, who was playing with friends in a quarry, was singled out by a number of masked men.
"A gun was then put to his head and he was told to get out of the country within 24 hours.
"Three of the culprits ran off. The fourth remained for a while afterwards and continued to beat the 13-year-old child while he lay on the ground."
"Those responsible must not only be brought to justice by the police but they should also lose all their political rights under the agreement."
The beating comes as Northern Ireland's leaders attempt to come to a compromise over paramilitary decommissioning after a week which saw two murders - one a sectarian attack on a human rights lawyer, the second the result of a suspected internal loyalist feud.
Despite an intense round of meetings in Washington during the St Patrick's Day celebrations, unionist and republican leaders failed to strike a deal over a start to decommissioning.
First Minister and Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble insists the IRA must begin decommissioning before he will sit in an assembly executive with members of Sinn Fein.
In a speech to his own party leaders on Saturday, Mr Trimble said the people of Northern Ireland did not vote for an "armed peace".
But Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, has accused Mr Trimble of bringing the peace process to the brink of collapse, saying he cannot force the IRA to hand over its weapons.
Both UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern have told the leaders he is prepared to personally help broker a deal ahead of the Good Friday deadline to form an executive.
Speaking on Irish radio, Mr Ahern said: "I don't have a formula, but I am prepared to sit down every night of the week, all night, to try and find one.
"If we fail in this - and there is no point in delaying it - then the anti-agreement people win."