Northern Ireland

Teenager treated in hospital after south Belfast sectarian attack

Ormeau Park assault branded ‘disgusting’

Ormeau Park assult
Ormeau Park in south Belfast. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

A sectarian attack that resulted in a 14-year-old boy being hospitalised has been branded “disgusting”.

The teenager was assaulted in Ormeau Park at around 5.30pm on June 8 by a gang of 20 males who later ran towards the Ravenhill Road.

In an appeal on social media, police, who say the victim suffered injuries that required treatment in hospital, described the attack as a “sectarian motivated assault”.

SDLP councillor Gary McKeown said he was “disgusted” by the attack.

“This will cause great concern to parents in the area, as a lot of young people use the park to socialise, play sport, and walk and cycle to school,” he said.

“Ormeau Park is a really diverse public space enjoyed by people of all ages from all backgrounds, so it’s really concerning that this attack took place here. People need to be able to go about their lives without fear of being targeted for being who they are.”

Mr McKeown wished the victim well.

“Thankfully Ormeau Park is generally very safe and popular, which makes this attack all the more disappointing, and this is why it will be important to ensure that efforts go into preventing any recurrence,” he said.

“I wish this boy well in his recovery and urge anyone with any information to come forward.”

Alliance Party councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown
Alliance Party councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown

Alliance councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown said he was “appalled by this sectarian attack”.

“There should be no place for any such kind of heinous act,” he said.

“My thoughts are with the teenager following what must have been a truly horrific incident and I hope they make a quick recovery.”