‘Madness’ at bonfire site overnight condemned

Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue and DUP Alderman David Ramsey
Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue and DUP Alderman David Ramsey

Politicians in Derry have condemned those responsible after violence broke out at a bonfire site in the city last night.

Derry City & Strabane District Alderman David Ramsey branded the attacks on the PSNI and others gathered on the City Walls “madness”.

Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue meanwhile said those responsible have nothing to offer the community.

Petrol bombs were fired at police by a group gathered at the bonfire last night.

The same gang had earlier attacked people on the City Walls with bottles and other missiles.

Alderman Ramsey claimed masked men had been seen in the vicinity yesterday.

He said: “The DUP condemn this madness but are not surprised after masked men where witnessed in the surrounding area yesterday.

“The people involved will not stop the good work being carried out in Londonderry promoting tolerance and respect for differing culture and traditions.

“Rioting is totally unacceptable and we would appeal to anyone with information to contact the PSNI Foyle on 101.

“The actions of these people does not represent the good people of this city.”

Councillor Logue meanwhile said: “These attacks on members of the public and the PSNI were wrong and must be condemned.

“The local community does not want these attacks and those responsible have nothing to offer.

“This is one of the many incidents of anti-social behaviour associated with this bonfire which is being built on a banking overlooking the Bogside.

“We know all too well what happens at these type of bonfires and we are opposed to the burning of flags and posters on bonfires and associated hate crimes whether they are in Nailor’s Row or Sandy Row.

“There is a positive alternative to this bonfire through the Gasyard Féile and I would encourage the local community and the wider city to get behind this positive community event.”

PSNI Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said earlier today the disorder last night occurred in the vicinity of the bonfire at the banking.

Superintendent McCalmont said: “Persons gathered at the bonfire attacked members of the community on the city Walls with bottles and rocks.

“Police who were deployed to prevent further disorder were subsequently attacked by persons who threw petrol bombs and other missiles.

“Fortunately, no injuries were sustained.

“This violent behaviour simply damages our communities, and cannot be tolerated.”

Supt. McCalmont appealed to those with influence to exert it over the coming hours.

“Tonight will see the lighting of the bonfire and I would appeal to those in the community to use their influence to control the situation so that we do not have a repeat of last night’s behaviour,” he said.

“I would like to reassure the community that we will deploy the necessary resources to detect and deter those responsible.

“Where this is not practicable at the time, we shall seek to gather evidence to bring those responsible before the courts. There will be consequences for those choosing to engage in this type of behaviour.

“Local residents do not want this kind of activity on their doorsteps and I would urge those engaged in violence and criminal damage to stay at home.”