The PSNI have said they do not believe that children as young as seven were involved in throwing petrol bombs during disturbances in the city at the weekend.
The police had initially claimed that seven year-old children has been throwing petrol bombs in the Bogside area on Saturday and Sunday even but later issued a correction and said they did not believe children of that age were involved.
A PSNI spokesperson said; “There was a small group of youths involved in throwing petrol bombs. Police received a report from a member of the public that young children were gathered in the area at the time of the disturbances but upon further enquiry Police do not believe children aged seven years old threw petrol bombs.
“A number of youths were gathered but only a tiny number of these were involved in throwing petrol bombs. These actions were carried out by a very small minority. Over the course of the weekend there were only a few contained disturbances.”
The PSNI clarification followed concerns raised by local community workers who felt that the situation had been misrepresented.
Bogside community worker Charles Lamberton welcomed the PSNI clarification. “We never believed that children as young as seven had been throwing petrol bombs. Such statements only served to distract attention away from what was, on the whole, a largely peaceful and enjoyable weekend, made possible by the hard work and dedication of many individuals and groups,” he said.
The minor disturbances flared following the annual Apprentice Boys Relief of Derry march. The parade itself passed largely without incident, although there were reports of sectarian singing by loyalist supporters in the Diamond during the return parade at around 5pm.
A crowd of around 100 parade supporters gathered at the entrance to the Diamond at Ferryquay Street and a number were heard singing sectarian lyrics to one of the tunes being played by a passing band.
The song was ‘The Famine Song,’ an anti-Catholic song from Scotland which is sung to the traditional tune of ‘Sloop John B’ and contains the lines ‘the famine is over; it’s time to go home’.