Greysteel: Proactive stance against Twelfth bus attacks

Youths from Greysteel at the Interface at The Fountain in the Bishop Street area of Derry.
Youths from Greysteel at the Interface at The Fountain in the Bishop Street area of Derry.

More than two dozen youths from the Greysteel area will act as community wardens alongside the PSNI today in a new bid to prevent attacks on Twelfth buses passing through the village.

Last July, buses were stoned as they made their way back from the Twelfth in Derry through Greysteel.

Programme officer at The Vale Ventre, Columba Mailey, said a lot of young people in the area were unhappy about what happened last year.

This summer, determined to prevent a repeat of the ugly scenes, a new initiative has been developed.

After meeting with the Good Relations officers at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, a ‘Focus’ project was developed to educate young people in the area about respect and tolerance of other cultures.

As part of the initiative, those travelling to Limavady from Derry and beyond today for the main Twelfth demonstration will see young people working as community wardens, alongside the police “so people know they are safe and welcome to pass through here”, said Columba.

“It’s a proactive stance.

“The young people involved are proud of where they come from, and say what happened last year wasn’t in their name,” Columba explained.

Also involved in the project are the PSNI, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Translink.

They have all welcomed the initiative and believe it is a great example of encouraging good relations.

As part of the initiative, young people also visited the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall in Derry.

They also visited the Interface at The Fountain in the City as well as Free Derry Corner in the Bogside.

Timmy Óg Daly, 22, from Greysteel, explained: “I am delighted with how the programme has turned out.

“We have engaged around 30 teenagers altogether over the course of this programme and I believe those who attended the Apprentice Boys Hall and the tour of the Bogside will not forget that experience for a long time.

“All the facilitators who worked with the group commented on how well behaved they were and the great response they got from them.

“These young people show that Greysteel doesnt deserve the bad image it has been given by a group of people intent on causing damage.”