Community leaders in the Bogside have appealed for Dove House Community Trust to be left alone following a spate of vandalism attacks on the building.
Róisín Barton, chair of Dove House, said the ongoing attacks have an impact on the services offered.
“During its life it has been blacklisted by the British Government, seen its funding cut and staff paid off. It is now being attacked physically and its staff and volunteers are being attacked verbally.
“In the last six months Dove House has been attacked at least 14 times. Graffiti attacks and vandalism have put enormous pressure on the men and women who help Dove House provide help to the people of the Bogside.
“The attacks on the property can be repaired but they are costing money that can be better used in helping local people. The attacks on Dove House staff, and the lies being peddled about them, are even more damaging. Together, the attacks and abuse are putting the future of Dove House into jeopardy,” she said.
Foyle SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said: “Dove House is a part of the wider Bogside community and any attack on it is an attack on the Bogside itself.The current tirade of violent attacks on the facility must end; there is no justification for an attack on any community resource that seeks to help and advise members of our own community.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue said: “The repeated attacks on Dove House are totally reprehensible. The work the staff do there is immeasurable.”
A spokesperson for the 32 County Sovereignty Movement also called for the attacks to stop immediately.
“Having spoken to young people and residents in the Bogside we understand that a gulf has opened up between Dove House and a significant section of the local community. Dove House’s perceived collaboration with the PSNI was one of the issues raised. We would suggest that dialogue between these parties would be a positive step forward.”