The BBC is reporting that a group of teenage schoolchildren from Northern Ireland have been attacked and injured by a gang of hooded youths during a school trip to Manchester.
Nine pupils from Portadown College, County Armagh, aged between 14 and 17, were assaulted on Sunday.
Five were treated in hospital but the school’s principal said none of them was seriously injured.
The students had travelled to the city as part of the school’s annual trip to attend football matches in Manchester.
Craig Chambers, one of the pupils who witnessed the assaults, told the BBC that “at least 40” local youths attacked his school group as they left a shopping centre.
“We were just walking out of the Trafford Centre to go to the bus and a group of people from Manchester, who were all about the same age as us, came behind us and just started a fight basically.
“We were completely outnumbered and they just started a brawl.”
He said one of the students from his school sustained a broken elbow in the attack and others were treated for concussion.
The pupils had just attended a football derby between Manchester United and Manchester City.
The principal of Portadown College, Simon Harper, said the teenagers who required hospital treatment were all discharged the same night and have since travelled home to Northern Ireland.
He said he had spoken to the teachers who had accompanied the students on the trip and was satisfied that emergency procedures had been followed…
This sounds, sadly, more likely to be about football than anything else but a very unpleasant outcome nonetheless.
Would you feel comfortable taking a group of school children on a trip to a high profile football match?
Please let us know why/why not in the comments or via Twitter…
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