Police investigating report of loyalist parade spectator throwing cup at 11-year-old Derry boy’s head

editorial image

A Derry mother has claimed a loyalist deliberately threw a plastic cup at her 11-year-old son at the weekend.

The alleged culprit was among spectators who had gathered to watch the annual ‘Relief of Derry’ parade on Saturday, said Tina Johnston, who was at the Waterside end of the Craigavon Bridge when the incident occurred.

She believes the cup was thrown at the child because he was wearing a shirt manufactured by O’Neill’s, the clothing company famous for its production of Gaelic Games sports wear.

Ms. Johnston said the incident happened while she was walking with her partner and her three sons to the train station at approximately 12.20 p.m. on Saturday.

“We were walking through the parade when a man from the crowd threw a plastic cup at my 11 year old’s head. My partner saw it happen and it was with intent.

“My son was wearing an O’Neill’s top,” she said.

Angered by the incident the woman’s partner reported it immediately to three police officers who were on duty nearby, she said.

However, she claimed no action was taken against the alleged missile thrower at this time.

“We walked on and I reported it to two other officers at the train station who were very helpful and took a description and our details.

“If only the first three officers were to do their job properly and protect the public maybe this man would have gotten what he deserved for bullying an 11 year old boy,” said the woman.

Police in Derry are appealing for information following the report of the cup being thrown at the youth in the Spencer Road area of Derry on Saturday afternoon.

“We received a report that a man had thrown a cup at a boy in the Spencer Road area of the city on Saturday.

“Enquiries are continuing and we are appealing to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area to contact police on 101, quoting reference number CCS 937 of 10/08/19,” a spokesperson said.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

Thousands of Apprentice Boys took part in the parade on Saturday , which passed off largely without incident.

A total of 145 bands and 8,000 participants took part e throughout the day.

The Relief of Derry is staged annually in Derry to commemorate the lifting of the 1869 Great Siege in the city.