An 82-year-old Derry City FC legend has spoken of the latest “frightening” early morning vandalism attack on his home.
Willie Curran’s Beechwood Avenue home was targeted by stonethrowers in the early hours of Friday morning.
Up to a dozen missiles were hurled at windows to the rear of Mr. Curran’s gable-end property at around 4.20 a.m.
One of the windows - fitted with reinforced glass following a previous stone-throwing incident - bore the brunt of the attack.
Mr. Curran, who lives alone, says his home has been targeted on a number of occasions in recent times.
The pensioner - who played for Derry City in the golden era of the early 1950s and was a member of the legendary ‘Candy Stripes’ team which won the Irish Cup in 1954 - described the latest incident as “very upsetting.”
“I now find myself going to bed worrying about what might happen during the night,” he told the ‘Sunday Journal’.
“I’d like to think I’m not being deliberately targeted and that it’s just young people being young people, but it’s happened a few times now and it sometimes makes you think they might not be random incidents.
“I’ve lived here for more than thirty years now and raised a family here during the worst days of the Troubles and, during that time, I can say that I never went to my bed worrying about what might happen to the house. That’s not the case now.”
The father of seven - a long time official with the Derry and District Youth Football Association - says his home’s location adjacent to steps leading from Marlborough Terrace to Marlborough Street might be one explanation as to why it’s been targeted.
“But that’s no justification to throw stones at anyone’s house,” he says. “I think it’s just young people - and, perhaps, not so young people - who nowadays don’t have much respect for people or property.
“At the end of the day, I just want a quiet life - I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
Local Sinn Fein councillor Collie Kelly has condemned the attack on Mr. Curran’s home.
“This was a disgraceful attack on the home of a highly respected member of the local community,” he said.
“There have been a number of incidents at what is known locally as the ‘Marlborough Steps’ over the last three years and I know that Councillor Patricia Logue, Community Restorative Justice (CRJ), the City Council and the PSNI have been working to try to address these issues.
“I would appeal to anyone who has information on these attacks to come forward and provide it to the appropriate authorities.”