Taxi driver ‘traumatised’ after protest attack

Police line the road at Bonds Street on Sunday night during a loyalist flags protest.

Police line the road at Bonds Street on Sunday night during a loyalist flags protest.

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A Derry taxi driver was left traumatised when the windscreen of his car was smashed by loyalist flag protesters in the city’s Waterside at the weekend, it’s been claimed.

The incident is reported to have taken place in the Lincoln Courts area at around 9 p.m. on Sunday night. It’s believed the driver targeted in the attack works for a cityside firm.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Lynn Fleming condemned the incident.

“This must have been a very traumatic experience for the taxi driver,” she said.

“Not only was the windscreen of the car smashed but damage was also caused to the bodywork of the car.

“Only last week, my colleague Raymond McCartney warned about the dangers of such intimidation and here we see its results.”

Police said they had received a report of an incident and appealed for information.

A PSNI spokesman said: “Police in Foyle received a report that a car windscreen was cracked by youths throwing stones at approximately 9pm on the evening of Sunday, January 20 in the Lincoln Courts area. The bonnet and side panel were also reported damaged.”

Meanwhile, a number of people were arrested as 150 loyalists waving flags and carrying placards staged a protest close to the City of Culture “Sons and Daughters” concert on Sunday night.

Police contained protesters in streets off Limavady Road although about 30 people got onto the road for a short time and blocked traffic.

Local loyalist, Leslie Mitchell, who was at the protest, accused the police of being heavy handed.

“It was a totally over-reactionary response to a peaceful protest,” he said. “It’s an absolute disgrace - it is total oppression of peaceful protest.”