Dental nurse censured over sick Facebook post after car struck Catholic girl
Published 17/03/2016 | 12:12
A dental nurse who wrote a sickening post on Facebook after a girl was nearly killed at an Orange march has been let off with a reprimand.
Nadia Armstrong wrote "yeoooo up the SPB" (Shankhill Protestant Boys) after a car reversed into a crowd as violence erupted at the July 12 parade last year.
Dozens of police officers managed to lift the vehicle off a 16-year-old Catholic girl, who sustained serious injuries.
The driver was arrested for attempted murder and is currently the subject of legal proceedings.
The Orange parade had been taking place on Crumlin Road in north Belfast on July 12 when a cordon was erected to prevent it from passing a nationalist area.
The next day Armstrong left a Facebook post which read: "Sitting at a red light at Ardoyne and they start and the guy in front who was in the Orange Order put it in reverse and took out about 10 of them yeoooo up the SPB."
A complaint was made to the General Dental Council about the comment and an investigation was launched.
Armstrong, who worked as a dental nurse in Belfast, was reprimanded by the GDC, and the panel said: "While behavioural failings such as those identified in this case are generally more difficult to remedy than clinical shortcomings, there is evidence of you having reflected upon the consequences of your actions.
"You have come before this committee having expressed regret and remorse for your actions, and it is equally apparent that these proceedings, as well as the events in the aftermath of the comment that you made, have had a profound, lasting and salutary effect on you."
The panel found Armstrong's fitness to practise was impaired as the post was approving of an act of violence.
They noted the nurse had shown remorse for the incident and had admitted the charge.
"You have developed insight into the effect that your comment has had, and the committee is satisfied that it is highly unlikely that there will be a repeat of the behaviour that has culminated in this hearing," the panel said.
"However, the committee considers that the offensive and unprofessional comment that you made on social media is highly damaging to your fitness to practise."
The nurse was given a reprimand that will appear on her registration for the next 12 months.
Armstrong, registered as of Highcliff Gardens, Belfast, attended and was represented at the hearing.