Derry community centre attacked with petrol and paint bombs

Petrol and paint bombs were fire at Dove House in Derry.

Petrol and paint bombs were fire at Dove House in Derry.

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Those behind a petrol bomb attack on a Derry community resource centre have been called upon to explain the rationale behind the latest in a series of incidents.

The chair of the board at Dove House in the Bogside said they were baffled as to why anyone would want to attack a facility which has served the people of the city for over three decades.

Some of the paint bomb damage at Dove House.

Some of the paint bomb damage at Dove House.

Roisin Barton was speaking after youths fired a petrol bomb at the building at around midnight, before returning 20 minutes later and firing paint bombs at the building.

Local eyewitnesses have said that up to a dozen teenagers were spotted at the scene.

The incident is the latest in a string of attacks over the past few years.

In the past few weeks alone, their have been other incidents of paint bombs being fired at the Meenan Square premises, while window coverings have been damaged as youths tried to enter the building, a perimeter wall was damaged, and pallets set up against the building and set alight.

The splatter left by one of the paint bombs.

The splatter left by one of the paint bombs.

Ms Barton has now challenged those behind the attack to explain their actions.

“There have been so many attacks and for the life of me I cannot understand why anybody wants to attack Dove House.

“It has been open for over 30 years and the door is open to everybody. We have welfare advice, housing advice, youth activities, a project for women at risk of domestic violence, adult education, we work with the Housing Executive, the Council, Social Services, and I want those who are doing this to come along and explain why, and what their problem is.

“Part of the reason they are doing this seems to be that they are trying to take away from all the good work that is done here and instil some kind of fear but for what reason is beyond me.”

Debris scattered outside Dove House.

Debris scattered outside Dove House.

Ms Barton said it was not only very unpleasant for the staff and diverse range of clients at Dove House to see their facility being repeatedly attacked, but also for the local community who live beside the building.

“This is a built up area with local homes nearby,” she said.

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue meanwhile said: “It’s sad we are once again having to condemn yet another attack on Dove House just two weeks after the last incident.

“Dove House provides help to thousands of people each year and provides countless community events. And have just finished another very successful Féile.

“It’s the heartbeat of this community but a very small group of people are intent on destroying it.

“I find it remarkable how these attacks are being treated by many as just the ‘norm’, they shouldn’t be.

“We need a collective voice from across the city and district that they are wrong and that there should be no excuses for these attacks or excuses made for those involved in these dastardly deeds.”