Cross-community anger over sectarian attack on youths

The Peace Bridge, Derry. (DER3413PG003)

The Peace Bridge, Derry. (DER3413PG003)

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Local people from all backgrounds have joined politicians in condemning the sectarian attacks on the young teenagers.

The three victims, who come from Protestant backgrounds, were on their way to meet Catholic friends they had met during several years of cross-community projects when they were jumped by a gang of around 15 youths on Friday night.

The boys, two of whom are aged 15 and the third 14, all sustained injuries in the assaults, and the attack could have been even more serious but for the intervention of a local taxi driver and a member of the public.

The taxi driver drove one of the boys home while the other two made their way back to the Waterside on foot.

DUP Councillor, David Ramsey, who has been supporting the families involved over the past few days said: “To be honest it would bring a tear to your eye. The victims are badly shook but fair play, one of them went back to school today and he has a suspected broken nose.

“Parents in the town are uniting over this and everybodsy is coming tohgetehr to say we have to step up here.”

SDLP Foyle MP, Mark Durkan meanwhile, said it was “sickening that these young innocent boys were so viciously assaulted.”

He added: “We must unite in expressing our disgust at, and rejection of, this attack and everything it represents.

“Sectarianism is an evil in our community that needs to be stamped out and people throughout Derry do not want this savagery on their streets.”

Waterside Sinn Féin Councillor, Christopher Jackson, warned: “There can be no place for sectarianism in our city.

“Great strides have been made towards improving community relations in Derry in recent years and those efforts will not be set back by attacks like this.

“This is a city moving forward and no one wants to see these types of incidents taking place. I would call on anyone with information on this attack to contact the PSNI.”