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Friday, 7 September, 2001, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Funeral of teenage cyclist
Devastated: The teenager's mother, Pauline, behind the coffin
Heartbroken: The teenager's mother Pauline
More than a thousand mourners have attended the funeral of a Protestant teenager whose death in north Belfast led to a murder charge.

Thomas McDonald, 16, died from head injuries on Tuesday after he was struck by a car as he was riding his bicycle on the Whitewell Road on Tuesday.

As his funeral was taking place, a bail application by Alison McKeown, 32, the woman accused of his murder, was adjourned at the High Court.

She appeared before the court on a video link from Maghaberry Prison, but her lawyer said more investigations were needed before they would apply for bail.

Thomas McDonald died from head injuries
Thomas McDonald died from head injuries

Two other men, a 15-year-old youth and 20-year-old man, were also charged with intending to pervert the course of justice by making an untruthful statement to the police.

After a private service at his home on Friday, mourners lined the Whitewell Road as the funeral cortege passed the spot where Thomas died.

It is now marked by a bank of flowers left by friends and relatives.

There were emotional scenes as the teenager's mother, Pauline, broke down and wept.

The teenager's 14-year-old brother, Stephen, and sister, Natalie, 9, had to be comforted by their father, Sam, as they walked behind the coffin.
Gavin Brett: Attended same school
Gavin Brett: Attended same school

Thomas attended the same school as loyalist murder victim Gavin Brett, who was shot dead by the paramilitary Red Hand Defenders last month.

Pupils from Glengormley High School attended Thomas' funeral to pay their respects.

Earlier, Protestant residents of the Glenbryn estate in north Belfast, who are protesting outside a Catholic school in Ardoyne, held a prayer service in memory of Thomas.

They had asked parents of the pupils to respect the McDonald family's grief by not walking a contentious route to the school which is in a Protestant area.

BBC NI reporter Rosie Billingham
"There were emotional scenes at the spot where he died"
See also:

06 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Woman on cyclist murder charge
05 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Murder charge after boy's death
31 Jul 01 | Northern Ireland
Vigil to remember murder victim
Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.

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