ONH group from Belfast ‘ran the riot’

The scene at Rossville Street on Saturday evening after trouble broke out following an Apprentice Boys Parade through the city. 1608JM12
The scene at Rossville Street on Saturday evening after trouble broke out following an Apprentice Boys Parade through the city. 1608JM12

Dissident republican group Óglaigh na h’Éireann have been blamed for orchestrating the violence which broke out in the Bogside on Saturday.

Republican sources in the Bogside area said a unit of Óglaigh na h’Éireann (ONH) was sent to Derry from Belfast to foment trouble and orchestrate the rioting.

A PSNI Landrover driver jumps from his vehicle to extinguish the flames on his vehicle at Rossville Street late on Saturday evening. 1608JM14

A PSNI Landrover driver jumps from his vehicle to extinguish the flames on his vehicle at Rossville Street late on Saturday evening. 1608JM14

A number of masked men with Belfast accents were seen in the Rossville Street area handing out petrol bombs and latex gloves to local young people.

Hundreds of petrol bombs and a pipe bomb were thrown at police in the Rossville Street and Fahan street areas during the rioting - the worst seen in the city for several years.

Four vehicles were hijacked and set on fire in the Bogside during the clashes and a total of eight people were arrested by the PSNI. Two men appeared in court yesterday morning charged with offences related to the rioting.

Senior police officers, politicians, churchmen, and community groups in the city have all blamed dissident republicans for orchestrating the riots.

At one stage during the disturbances a local nurse and her young daughter were pulled from their car in a hijacking close to St Eugene’s Cathedral. The vehicle was later recovered by community activists.

A pipe bomb was thrown and exploded close to a police Landrover at the height of the rioting on Saturday evening.

ONH were also blamed for directing the hijacking and burning of vehicles in the Bogside area on July 12th.

Residents of Fahan Street, St Columb’s Wells, and Joseph Place, many of whom are pensioners, said the majority of the rioters were teenagers and claimed that many of them were drunk.

The violence erupted close to Free Derry Corner where the 32 County Sovereignty Movement were staging a 48 hour ‘anti-internment’ campout. The 32CSM members were due to remain in the area until Sunday but abandoned their camp shortly after the rioting began.