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Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Head to head: Ardoyne school dispute
Holy Cross dispute
Parents and pupils are escorted to the school
After a night of disturbances in north Belfast, a large security operation is in place Ardoyne to ensure that Catholic children gain access to a primary school, despite a protest by loyalist protesters.

On Monday there were angry clashes between protestors and the security forces as pupils were ushered into the school through army lines.

Philomena Flood, a parent of one child at the school said children should not be made to use an alternative route at the back of the school to avoid the protestors.

But the leader of the loyalist Progressive Unionist Party, David Ervine, says the actions of the Protestant residents are a cry for help.

Here they give their views on the situation.


Holy Cross parent, Philomena Flood

I felt frightened for the children. We were being herded up the road like cattle by the police but there was still the abuse and it was still frightening.

I did use the back entrance in June when this problem first started.

And the sectarian abuse that was thrown at me from there meant that route is not safe.

Philomena Flood
Philomena Flood: "It was terrifying"

These children are not doing these people any harm. What have they done to deserve this?

I wish these people would stop this and see sense.

I understand they have grievances but it is a disgrace what David Ervine said that it was terrible what happened but you could understand the extent to what these people had to go to to have their voices heard.


David Ervine, PUP leader

"Those protestors know exactly how this is being shown around the world and are yet prepared to besmirch their name in order to be heard.

That worries me, it tells me that there is a deep-seated problem that almost to the point where I think people are saying: "Will someone please hear us, will someone please understand that it is not about children, it is about us as a small enclave being terrorised all day all night.

David Ervine
David Ervine: "Cry for help"

Not long ago a young man was murdered in the small Protestant enclave which sits beside the much larger nationalist Ardoyne.

The people of Glenbryn see themselves quite genuinely as victims.

They want their issues addressed.

This is the wrong way to have them addressed and they know that but perhaps there comes a time in your life when you say I have to be heard.

I think if we can create a circumstance where dialogue, which is unending in terms of trying to develop relationships between two sections of society so that you don't only deal with an issue in crisis, that you deal on a consistent basis with how people are living their lives.


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See also:

19 Jun 01 | Northern Ireland
Riot police called to school attack
04 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Trouble flares at dispute school
03 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Picture gallery: Ardoyne school dispute
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