Call for ‘cool heads and leadership’

The Fountain estate in Londonderry.
The Fountain estate in Londonderry.

Nationalist politicians in Derry have branded the attacks on the Fountain ‘reprehensible’ as they called for cool heads to prevail.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan said those who carried out the petrol bomb attack on the Fountain and the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall last Thursday also caused destruction and disruption in the Bogside.

“They represent no-one and no cause,” she said.

“The sectarian attack on the Fountain and the mayhem caused in the Bogside is despicable and an attack on the people who live in both those areas. It should be condemned and the those behind it should get off the backs of the community.”

SDLP Foyle MLA, Mark H Durkan, meanwhile, said: “These attacks are completely reprehensible. It has not been one way traffic in terms of incidents but there is never any justification for attacks on people and their homes.

“It is my opinion that some are merely using sectarianism as an excuse for thuggery - a lot of these young people have no respect for their own community and have people there terrorised too. However, there are potentially more sinister elements in the background, exploiting the exuberance of bored and angry teenagers.”

Mr Durkan said a lot of good work has been done in this interface, but said that “sadly we seem to be moving backwards”.

“The divisive nature of politics here - where the DUP and Sinn Fein depend so much on division - is filtering down and festering on our streets. This manifests itself in ever-growing displays of flags, bigger bonfires and tensions between communities,” he claimed, adding: “Now is the time for cool heads and leadership in those communities and for proper political leadership.”