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16 October 2014
BBC NI - Eyewitness

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headline Image of ABC journalist Richard Gizbert

BBC Reporter: Northern Ireland is a small place and we have had more than our fair share of media attention in the last thirty years. But this week’s events in Ardoyne have become the biggest story in the world.

Good morning to all of you. We begin with another terrifying morning for Catholic schoolgirls in Northern Ireland…

BBC Reporter: A primary school in north Belfast has become headline news on television channels and newspapers around the world.

The mob of Protestants trying to stop the Catholics from reaching their school is growing smaller by the day, but what is left is the hardcore element and they’re trying to create as much mayhem as possible.

Within minutes of filing his report from Belfast, it’s broadcast around America.

Then someone threw a bomb. What followed was chaos - children, parents, screaming and running for the shelter of the school.

I think for people in the United States who are a little bit weary of the Northern Ireland story and who don’t see a whole lot of progress on the peace front, I think what attracts their attention to this story is the element of the children. I mean, you know, we’ve seen so much of what happens here before, you know, between the marchers, between the firebombs, what goes on at night, the RUC element, the bombs - but we’ve never really seen kids as dramatically caught in the middle of this sectarian war.

BBC Reporter: The trouble has also been a talking point for international readers of local newspapers, including The Irish News.

Both sides of this stupid fight should have their children taken away. They call themselves Protestants and Catholics - why? Neither group practises anything coming close to what God is about, and that is love.

I see the conflict as an outsider: however, it’s very difficult to maintain neutral feelings when faced with the reality of yesterday’s events.

BBC Reporter: And the BBC’s online site has received hundreds of emails as people log on to find out more.

Within an hour of that question being posed (What do you want to ask about Ardoyne?) we had literally hundreds of emails flooding in to News Online, many from the UK and Ireland, but also from places all over the world, the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Australia. The level of international interest is just enormous.

BBC Reporter: Northern Ireland is once again hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, but once the cameras have gone, the images of the last few days are bound to linger in the minds of people at home and abroad.

Back to the studio.

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