Community anger at drunken rioters

There is widespread anger in the Bogside area at the actions of rioters who threw petrol bombs and burned cars in the area on Saturday.

Local people have said crowds of drunken youths intimidated residents and pensioners terrified in their own homes during the disturbances.

Fahan Street resident Mickey McLaughlin said it was mainly young people involved in the rioting and called on their parents to take responsibility.

“A drunk man threw a petrol bomb and as the police came down he tried to get into my house and he pushed past me and my sister and burst into the living room. Six or seven policemen in riot gear followed him in with batons drawn and I thought they were going to hit me. The ones who were throwing stones and petrol bombs were very young and I have to ask where there mothers and fathers were. Obviously they don’t give a monkeys,” he said.

A woman from Rossville Street criticised the 32 County Sovereignty Movement for staging a protest camp at Free Derry Corner. “It was terrible. If it wasn’t for that crowd who had the protest at Free Derry Corner there would have been no-one in the area to cause trouble. They have to take some of the blame,” she said.

One woman, who was with her 88 year-old mother in St Columb’s Wells, said the behaviour of the young people was “disgraceful.”

“I was up staying with my mother and we never slept a wink. My mother is nearly 89 years-old and has dementia and she did not understand what was happening.

“She was shaking with fear.

“At one stage I looked out my window and two policemen were standing outside and the young ones were throwing beer cans at them. There was so much drinking going on. It’s terrible in this day and age that older people have to put up with this,” she said.