Derry’s historic City Walls are being used as a vantage point for youths to terrorise passers-by with potentially lethal firework attacks.
One woman who suffers from a heart complaint narrowly escaped injury when a ‘banger’ was hurled towards her on Saturday at Guildhall Square.
Local councillor Colly Kelly has warned that parts of the city centre could become “a no- go area” for shoppers because of young people throwing fireworks and bangers from the Walls.
The woman, who suffers from a heart condition, said she and other shoppers were terrified by the incident on Saturday afternoon.
“We were crossing the Guildhall Square when suddenly there was a number of large bangs and smoke all over the place. It stopped everyone in their tracks,” she said.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said a group of teenage boys and girls were responsible.
“People thought it was a one-off but a group made up of young boys and girls on the Walls continued to light bangers and throw them at people trying to get out of the way into Shipquay Street and head over towards Foyle Street. Despite people shouting for them to stop, two young lads went right ahead,” she explained.
She also said she would be afraid to go into the city centre following her experience.
“It would definitely put me off going into that part of the city centre on a Saturday afternoon if this carry-on is going to go on from now to Hallowe’en,” she said.
Another shopper said a number of older people and young mothers were caught up in the incident.
“There were old people and young mothers with children in prams but those throwing the bangers didn’t care.”
A 16 year-old boy was later arrested on suspicion of having prohibited fireworks and a quantity of illegal fireworks were seized.
Colr. Kelly called for an end to the sale of illegal fireworks and bangers. “We can’t have Derry city centre being a no-go area at the weekend if shoppers are afraid to go there.
“It would also have a detrimental impact on local businesses,” he said.