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21 August 2014
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BBC NI - Eyewitness

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Community Voices - Lilian North, a Protestant mother who lives in the Glenbryn estate Lilian North

Our children are as much traumatised as any other, but if I had to go down to the lower Ardoyne road and seen that happening, I wouldn't put my child through that, especially with people standing. Yes, I walk her up to school, but she hasn't police walking around her and walking her up the road - I'm walking her up the road, do you know what I mean? But I wouldn't put my child through that at all.

Well Lilian, you say you wouldn't put your child through that. But looking at it from the other side, they would say 'Well, if the Protestant people weren't doing this, then children on both sides wouldn't be traumatised.' What's your reply to that?

My reply to that would be like, yes, if we weren't there. But the point is, if our school was down that road, we would be in the same situation - they would be doing exactly the same thing. Either our school wouldn't be no longer standing or they would be out doing exactly the same thing so that we couldn't get our kids to school the same way. But we are not stopping their kids going to school. It's just the parents coming up and we're thinking of our own kids' safety and the safety of our houses because we don't know what going to happen - because there is known IRA men walking up that road and we don't know what they've got with them, what they're carrying or anything about it.

So you would say it's not about the children?

No, it's not about the children. It's, em, y'know, just about us protecting our own area and taking our children to school in safety as well.

There are a lot of stories going around about the protest and who's done what to whom. The other side have said the Protestants were shouting obscene things to children and that balloons filled with urine were thrown at them. Did you ever see any of that?

No, no, I never ever seen any of that. Some of our little ones had balloons the one day, but there was nothing in them. They were just ordinary balloons they were standing holding after they had come out of school and all. But I never ever seen any balloons or anything being thrown - not where I was standing anyway.

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