Derry offended by reports - O’Connor

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Derry City Council’s chief has slammed news reports portraying Derry as a ‘city of fear’ as “gratuitously offensive”.

Council CEO Sharon O’Connor made the comments following the latest report on the operations of vigilante gang RAAD in the City of Culture on Wednesday’s BBC Newsnight programme.

She hit out at news reports juxtaposing the violence committed by RAAD with the UK City Culture 2013 designation. She said that recent reports on the situation in media had “grossly exaggerated the reality of the situation”.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, she said: “It’s a simple juxtaposition of City of Culture and this issue and reporters asking ‘how can these two things be compatible’?

“Of course they’re compatible, every city in the world has a significant crime problem and there’s nothing unusual about that. This sort of cheap association of the two things I find gratuitously offensive, to be honest.”

She added that Derry will refuse to be “knocked off course”. “We have to be determined to invite people to come here and actually allow them to experience a different city than the one that is being presented to them in some of these news programmes.”