Anger over chip off the old gun carriage block

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A huge chunk has been chipped off the gun carriage of one of the historic cannons lining the Derry Walls in what’s been described by one local councillor as an act of wanton vandalism.

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly said it was a mystery how damage was caused to the replica platform for the cannon, which is located on Grand Parade, one of the most popular sections of the Walls overlooking the Bogside.

He speculated that a heavy implement of some kind may have been used.

Colr. Kelly appealed for those behind the vandalism to consider how they were attacking Derry’s diverse cultural heritage.

He made his appeal after a local resident who walks the Derry Walls on a regular basis discovered damage at the base of the large cannon pointing our towards Fahan Street in the Bogside on Tuesday morning.

The damaged gun carriage is located just a few crenels down from Derry’s most famous cannon, Roaring Meg, at Double Bastion, and not far from St. Augustine’s Church, the Apprentice Boys of Derry Memorial Hall and First Derry Presbyterian Church. Lined with sycamore trees it’s one of the most popular sections for tourists with its sweeping views of the Long Tower, Creggan and the Bogside.

Colr. Kelly said: “Whilst the damage is not major, the message needs to go out very clearly that vandalism on our city’s heritage in any circumstance is totally wrong.

“Hundreds of people walk the Walls every day and our council staff do an excellent job keeping the place clean and looking well.

“We do not want the actions of a small number of people to undermine all that.”

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council advised that it is aware of damage to the replica cannon carriage.

Council officers are currently assessing the bill local citizens will have to settle in terms of its repair and associated costs.