Northern Ireland news

West Belfast woman tells of 'panic' on Glider after youths smashed window with brick

A window of a Glider bus was smashed on the Falls Road in west Belfast
Marie Louise McConville

A west Belfast woman has told how passengers were left in "shock" when a brick was thrown through a window of a Glider bus.

Joelle Curoe said people were showered with glass when a window in the disabled area of a vehicle was smashed.

The 26-year-old, who owns hair extension business Mane Enhancement on the Falls Road, had been travelling home on Monday night when the bus was targeted.

It was stopped at traffic lights outside the Royal Victoria Hospital at around 8.15pm when a brick was thrown from a crowd of youths who had gathered at Cavendish Street.

"It was a thud. I was sitting beside a couple of wee teenagers. At the time, I didn't know it was a brick," Ms Curoe said.

"Everyone ducked because they thought more was coming. Everyone was just more in shock. No-one could really talk.

Joelle Curoe said there was a sense of "panic" on board the Glider bus following the attack

"I saw young men and pensioners stand up and take their coats off to shake the glass off their collars.

"Where the bricks came through is where a pram could have been or a disabled person could have been there. It was madness."

Read More: Plans to extend Glider to north and south Belfast to be submitted within months

Ms Curoe said the passengers were asked to get off to wait for the next bus.

"I wanted to get off the road. I walked from the Royal Victoria Hospital home. I was walking with two other wee girls who were afraid to wait.

A window was smashed when a brick was through at a Glider bus outside the Royal Victoria Hospital

"I was really shaken up. The driver said it was protocol. We all had to get off as he couldn't drive in case the glass came in, which I understand, but a lot of us were afraid to get off where these scumbags were standing."

The attack comes a week after the Glider service was withdrawn for a time in the Colin area following attacks on vehicles.

Read More: Measures in place to protect Glider transport service in west Belfast following attacks by youths

Ms Curoe said she is now fears using it again.

"I buy a day ticket every day," she said.

"I really need the Glider. It was crazy. If it had have been rush hour or (there were) school kids, some could have been hurt."

A Translink spokeswoman condemned Monday night's attack, adding that there "were no injuries".

"We condemn attacks on our services in the strongest possible terms and we continue to work with the PSNI and community representatives to tackle this anti-social behaviour," she said.

A police spokesman also confirmed officers received a report of criminal damage in the Cavendish Street area.

"It was reported that at approximately 8.20pm a brick had been thrown at a bus window, causing the window to smash," he said.

"Officers would appeal to anyone with any information or who witnessed this incident to contact them."

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