Derry politicians express alarm amid reports of Covid anti-vaccination activists outside Derry school

Derry politicians have expressed concerns over reports that some people who are against COVID vaccinations had approached students near a school in the city.

Police have confirmed they attended the scene of a gathering on Wednesday afternoon.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police attended a report of a number of people gathered at the Buncrana Road area of Derry / Londonderry yesterday (Wednesday 10th November).

“Officers arrived and the crowd dispersed.”

Concerns raised: SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney and Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson.

Sinn Féin MLA Ciara Ferguson said that she had received reports pupils attending a local school were approached by people at the school gates on Wednesday.

The Foyle MLA said: “Parents have contacted me raising concerns that children were approached by anti-vaccine protestors.”

She said children should be able to attend school and to “make their own informed choices along with their parents”.

“I will be in touch with the school to offer my support and with the PSNI in an effort to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“Those gathering outside our schools on protests should desist immediately,” she added.

SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney said outside a school is no place for a protest and called on the protestors to desist at once.

Councillor Tierney said he was ‘shocked and alarmed’ to receive similar reports.

“While people are entitled to hold whatever opinion they wish, to gather outside a school” he said was “unacceptable,” adding:

“I will be liaising with the college to establish if they require any support following this incident and will also be contacting the PSNI to make them aware of it.

“Our schools are places of learning and we cannot allow students to be subjected to behaviour of this kind from anybody.”

He also commended staff for ‘ensuring that students got home safely and experienced as little disruption as possible’.