By Karen Atkinson
BBC Radio Ulster reporter
It was a murder that sent shock waves through the town of Ballymena in May 2006 and prompted the question - why? Why did Catholic schoolboy Michael McIlveen's life end in such a brutal and senseless way?
Michael McIlveen died after being attacked by a gang in May 2006
It started out like any normal Saturday evening.
The 15-year-old, nicknamed Micky Bo, went to meet a friend at the cinema in Ballymena. Just 48 hours later he was dead.
An innocent victim of the rising tensions between Catholic and Protestant youths in the town.
Chased by a gang into an alleyway close to Ballymena's town centre, Michael was hit with a baseball bat and kicked.
Injured and bleeding, he managed to make it back to his home in Dunclug less than half a mile away.
By then it was too late - Michael collapsed in his room and died later in hospital from severe brain injuries.
His mother, Gina, made the heartbreaking decision to switch off her son's life support machine.
She, like everyone else at the time, was at a complete loss to understand why Michael had been targeted.
"He got on with everybody, had loads of Catholic friends, loads of Protestant friends" she said.
"I just can't understand this at all, he didn't deserve it."
Michael had walked into a situation beyond his control.
Rivalries between Catholic and Protestant teenagers meant certain parts of Ballymena were off limits to each side.
We felt it was important for the community to come together, to grieve together and to move forward together
Youth worker Billy Morgan said: "I think around that time the tensions started to grow even more.
"If you were from a nationalist persuasion you wouldn't have gone into the Tower Centre wearing a football top and the same with the other section of the community as well."
During the trial in Antrim, it emerged that rival groups organised "meet ups" and fights via the social networking site BEBO.
This use of the internet to fuel sectarian tensions shocked and surprised many.
Cate Magee, principal of St Patricks College in Ballymena, where Michael had been a pupil, said: "In the evenings and at weekends there was a life that they were living, that was alien to what we knew here in school.
"This was spoken about quite openly by a lot of the boys at that time."
Decisive action was needed to repair fractured community relations in the aftermath of Michael's death.
At his funeral Mass, parish priest Father Paul Symonds said the teenager's death would not be in vain if it led to a new vision for Ballymena.
"They were telling us that they were under threat, as it were, from different sections of the community," he said.
Nine Catholic and non-denominational schools in the town took that message on board and set up the Learning Together initiative.
"We felt it was important for the community to come together, to grieve together and to move forward together," said chairperson and head of Dunclug College, Ruth Wilson.
"We wanted all our children to live alongside one another, to be educated alongside one another, to value their own beliefs but also to value the beliefs of others, to be able to live and work with others in harmony, that was our aim."
Three years on from Michael's death, Ruth Wilson believes Learning Together is making great strides.
Youth worker Billy Morgan is more cautious but still hopeful that the town can begin to emerge from the sectarian shadow cast by that fateful May night in 2006.
"There still is a divide and that's probably going to take years to solve but I believe that the people on the ground who have the best wishes of our young people are making a difference," he said.