The mother of a schoolgirl who attended Holy Cross Girls School in Ardoyne during loyalist protests in the autumn of 2001 has been granted leave to appeal a decision of the Court of Appeal to the House of Lords in relation to the policing of the protest by the RUC.

The lady is known only as ‘E’ in order to protect her identity.

The High Court judge who dismissed E’s initial judicial review challenge commented in his judgment:

“The so-called protest directed towards the young children of Holy Cross school for girls is one of the most shameful and disgraceful episodes in the recent history of Northern Ireland. The sheer weight of evidence about these terrible events permits no conclusion other than that many of those involved in the protest has as their purpose the terrorising of these innocent children and their parents.”

The House of Lords are expected to hear the appeal later this year.
Fearghal Shiels of Madden & Finucane, Solicitors, who represent ‘E’ said today:

“The schoolgirls were subjected on a daily basis to a violent and unlawful protest and were targeted because of their religion and because, despite their age, they were perceived as Nationalists. We have seen RUC documents which confirm that they approached the policing of the children’s journey to school consistent with the RUC’s policing of Orange Order Marches or other ‘contentious’ parades, and the RUC regarded the rights of Loyalist protestors as at least equivalent to the rights of children to go to school along the public highway without intimidation and violence.”