Dundalk chairman, Ciaran Bond has said the club are hoping to come to a resolution with Derry City which would guarantee the safety of its supporters who wish to travel to Friday night’s game at The Brandywell.
Dundalk’s trip to the Maiden City on March 14th ended in turmoil when a group of youths pelted three supporters buses with stones, smashing several windows and leaving a Dundalk fan with minor injuries.
The incident was the second time in as many seasons that Dundalk fans were subjected to such an attack leaving the Lone Moor Road venue.
Derry City Football Club officials will tomorrow (Wednesday) hold talks with local community groups in a bid to avoid a repeat of the unsavoury incidents experienced earlier in the season.
Tony Curtis, who has been organising travel to away games for Dundalk fans since 2009, witnessed the incident first hand that night, describing it as a ‘frightening experience’.
This week Curtis said that he would not be running a supporters bus to the game on Friday because Derry City could not guarantee Dundalk fans that they would have a safe journey to and from the ground.
“The local company who supply the buses, Seven’s Coaches, wanted assurances from Derry City that there would be no trouble. Derry City couldn’t confirm that so there will be no T&C Travel bus going to the game.
“It’s not right that we can’t be guaranteed a safe trip,” he continued. “The trouble took place at one junction, just yards from the ground, and surely Derry City could ensure the area is safe for 10 minutes after the game.
“All it is doing is depriving League of Ireland fans of going to a game. I’m disappointed for the fans who love going to away games and I’m sure we would have taken at least 150 supporters to Derry but a lot of them don’t want to go back after what happened the last time and it’s hard to blame them for that.”
When the incident occurred in March, Derry City condemned the actions of those who attacked the Dundalk buses but said they were happy with their policing of The Brandywell and stated that what happened outside the ground was ‘a social issue in the area’.
We’re currently in discussion with Derry City to ensure our supporters safety, to and from The Brandywell.Dundalk chairman
However on Monday, Dundalk FC Chairman, Mr Bond said that talks were ongoing between the clubs to ensure supporters’ safety.
“We’re currently in discussion with Derry City to ensure our supporters safety, to and from The Brandywell,” said Bond.
“Derry City have agreed that all buses can park in their secure parking area and are looking into the idea of a steward escort from the ground to the junction which has been a troubled area in the past.”