An attack on a bus travelling through Dungiven with supporters returning from the Apprentice Boys parade in Derry, and which left four people injured, has been condemned as “evil” and “disgusting”.
The attack happened on Saturday evening as the bus travelled past the Sports Pavilion, through Dungiven. The bus driver pulled in, further along Chapel Road opposite St. Patrick’s Church at a car park, where shattered glass and bloodied rags were visible. Police say they arrested a 16-year-old “after missiles thrown at a bus in Dungiven” and said four people - a man and three women - were injured. One of the women has been taken to hospital for treatment to serious facial injuries.
Sinn Fein Colr. Tony McCaul said the attack was “disgusting”.
“It’s absolutely disgusting and shouldn’t happen. I am disappointed anyone would go to these lengths. People should respect other people’s cultures. I utterly condemn it,” Colr. McCaul said.
Parish Priest Fr. Aidan Mullan said the attack was “evil” and “was not representative of the good people of Dungiven”.
“I was getting ready for mass when it happened and people at the church were shocked and annoyed and tearful. What annoys me about this, and what is shocking about this, is that you don’t be standing at the roadside with stones in your pocket, or bricks in your hand. It is evil. It is wrong and the good people of Dungiven are standing up to deny it and say ‘we don’t want to have any act, hand or part in behaviour such as nasty and bigoted as that’. This is not representative of the good people of Dungiven and I am annoyed, disappointed and shamed.”
Fr Mullan made this appeal.
“Stop the nonsense. Stop the evil, prejudiced foolishness that only hurts other people and relationships and hurts innocent people on their way home from their day’s entertainment at their Apprentice Boys march,” added Fr Mullan.
Causeway Coast and Glens Council Policing and Community Safety Partnership member Rory Donaghy said: “I am very disappointed and this has to be condemned outright. You could have been chatting about a fatality, and that’s the reality of it. When you throw a stone through a bus like that it could result in death. My thoughts go those who are injured and I hope they make a speedy recovery,” said Mr Donaghy. “Hopefully this doesn’t set us back too far.”
DUP Colr. Alan Robinson said: “These attacks need to stop as I predict this will result in someone losing an eye or being left with a severe brain injury. Is people’s hatred so deep for one another that they want to injure someone in this manner? Only last month I had written to the PSNI Chief Constable calling for a visible presence in Greysteel following an attack on Orangemen from the Republic of Ireland, little knowing that attention would now turn to Dungiven. I would call upon the courts to hammer those who are apprehended and send a powerful signal to anyone that these sectarian attacks are despicable and that they will no longer be tolerated.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness tweeted: “The stoning & injuries to passengers on a bus in Dungiven returning from Apprentice Boys Parade in Derry was shameful. I strongly condemn it.”