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9 September 1999 Edition

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Schoolboy `dumped by bus driver' beaten by loyalists

AN 11-YEAR-OLD schoolboy was beaten up after being abandoned in a loyalist area by a bus driver even though the child stood out in his Catholic school uniform, it has been claimed.

Belfast bus company Translink has promised it will investigate the report.

Christopher McAllister was ordered off the bus at Carlisle Circus in North Belfast, an area covered in loyalist graffiti. Christopher had mistakenly got on the wrong bus after only his second day at school.

After he was thrown off the bus, he was seriously beaten up by a gang of loyalists as he walked along the Crumlin Road, past the Hillview industrial estate in the Oldpark area of North Belfast.

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Bobby Lavery has criticised Translink and called on bus drivers to ``use a bit of common sense''.

Councillor Lavery said:

``The schoolboy was carrying a valid bus pass and could have been brought back to the city centre to be put on an alternative, safer bus instead of being left in a such a threatening situation.''
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An Phoblacht
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