Derry has ‘severe street drinking problem’

Bishop Street court.
Bishop Street court.

A Derry District Judge has claimed: “This city has a severe street drinking problem.”

Judge Barney McElholm made the comment as a couple appeared in court accused of assaulting each other in the John Street area of the city.

Bridget Mongan (27) of Foyle Valley House and 31-years-old Mark Anthony Sheridan, of no fixed abode, are charged with assaulting each other on March 8.

They are further charged with disorderly behaviour and jaywalking.

Sheridan is further charged with possessing an article with a blade on Feburary 14.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the allegations the couple were seen on CCTV ‘punching the head off each other.’

This allegedly spilled out onto the road, causing cars to slam on their breaks.

An investigating officer told the court ‘this is a disaster of a relationship’ which regularly ‘descends into complete and utter madness on the streets of Derry at all hours of the day in front of members of the public’.

The officer opposed bail for the defendants, stating that ‘members of the public are going to be continued to be troubled’ by their behaviour or even ‘hurt’ by it.

The judge refused bail and the defendants were remanded in custody until a later date.

He said there is concern ‘among many quarters about street drinking and the effect it is having on tourism in this city.’

The judge added unless the defendants stop drinking we are ‘condemned to this groundhog day of these two continuously behaving in this way’.