Call for clampdown on illegal sale of fireworks as cars attacked again

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A local councillor has called for a clampdown on the sale of illegal fireworks in Derry after a barrage of the gunpowder-propelled devices was fired at motorists in the Bogside this week.

Sinn Féin Councillor Sharon Duddy called for legal action to be taken against those selling fireworks illegally in the wake of the latest incidents.

Colr. Duddy, who was confirmed as the newest Derry City and Strabane District councillor by the Electoral Office on Tuesday after being co-opted by Sinn Féin to replace outgoing Councillor Colly Kelly, said she was dismayed that fireworks were still so widely available.

She was speaking after a number of incidents in and around the Lecky Road flyover on Wednesday night when fireworks were fired at passing cars.

She remarked: “It’s over a month to Hallowe’en and already we have been receiving complaints about fireworks and bangers being let off in and around the flyover.

“On Wednesday night fireworks were being thrown at passing cars travelling up and down the flyover.

“It was a very frightening experience for motorists and passengers caught up in all this.”

Colr. Duddy is the second councillor in the Moor District Electoral Area (DEA) in the space of the past fortnight to have complained of the irresponsible use of the low level decorative explosives.

Her constituency colleague, Colr. Kevin Campbell, recently complained that the Central Drive area had become a hotspot and that residents were being tortured by rockets and bangers.

In her first full day in her new post, Colr. Duddy, said there were a number of approaches that needed to be tried in order to get to grips with the problem.

And one of these, she said, was cutting off supply.

“A lot of positive work has been done in Derry over the last number of years to deal with the issue of selling illegal fireworks.

“And the availability of these dangerous items has been reduced.

“But sadly there are those out there who have no regard for local community and continue to be involved in this illegal trade,” said Colr. Duddy.

The new Sinn Féin councillor also had a direct message for those peddling fireworks to young people on the black market.

“I call on those who are engaged in this type of activity to stop and reflect on how their actions can cause serious injuries and harm,” she said.

“And urge anyone who has information to bring it forward to the police and those selling the fireworks need to be brought before the courts,” she said.