Trouble erupts at bonfire site overnight

Children, with their faces hidden, pictured constructing the controversial Bogside bonfire. DER3317GS030
Children, with their faces hidden, pictured constructing the controversial Bogside bonfire. DER3317GS030

Members of the public and police in Derry came under attack last night from a gang gathered at a controversial bonfire close to the city centre.

Bottles and rocks were fired at officers and people on the City Walls, the PSNI said.

The trouble broke out ahead of the lighting of the August 15 bonfire near the City Walls tonight.

Children early yesterday moved the bonfire materials gathered at the busy Lecky Road flyover site to the banking (pictured).

PSNI Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said 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.”