Church condemns ‘despicable’ rioting

A senior Derry priest has said the dissident republican group which orchestrated Saturday’s rioting is “morally and politically bankrupt”.

Fr Michael Canny, administrator, Templemore, said people living in the Bogside area are “rightly angry” at the destruction the rioters brought to their area.

“The violence that had to be endured and witnessed by the residents of Fahan St, Joseph Place, St. Columb’s Wells, Lisfannon Park and surrounding area must be condemned by all right-thinking people. From the evidence available it is very clear that the violence was planned by organisations opposed to people living in peace and harmony,” he said.

“The leaders and organisers of these violent acts are again showing themselves to be morally and politically bankrupt with idealism only for destruction. They have proved beyond doubt that they have still failed to grasp that this city and its people have moved on from the days of death and destruction and they are not going back to those dark days,” Fr Canny added.

Fr Canny also said the violence could derail attempts to highlight the ongoing prison protest in Maghaberry.

“The behaviour witnessed on Friday night and Saturday afternoon has caused many good people to turn their backs on very serious issues in our prisons that these same people are campaigning for,” he said.

The cleric also called on dissident leaders to abandon violence.