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KIDS FACING A TUNNEL OF HATE.

Byline: DEIRDRE TYNAN & HELEN COOK

CATHOLIC children ran a gauntlet of hate yesterday on their first day at school.

Loyalists screamed "Fenian scum" at youngsters and their parents making their way into Holy Cross Primary School in North Belfast.

Children, some as young as four, were in tears as bottles rained down. Hundreds of RUC officers and British soldiers battled with the Protestant protesters, who were condemned by politicians and Churchmen.

Two children and one mother were injured.

Last night rioting continued in North Belfast where blast bombs were thrown. Several RUC officers were injured.

Protestant residents won't allow the children to reach the school because Protestants are stopped from using nearby shops. A huge security operation will be in place this morning as parents and children return. However, there were calls last night for them to use an alternative route through another school.

Loyalist paramilitary group the Red Hand Defenders - a cover for the UDA which is officially on ceasefire - last night threatened to shoot the children's parents.

CAPTION(S):

FEAR: Dad carries schoolgirl yesterday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2001
Words:176
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