Fire service tasked as trees torched at republican monument

The torching of trees and abandonment of a sofa in the the middle of a republican monument in the Brandywell drew the fire service and condemnation on Thursday night.

Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly condemned vandals who started a fire within yards of the Bogside and Brandywell Republican Monument overlooking the Lecky Road.

He said: “I got a phone call from a local resident just before 9pm to say trees within yards of the main monument were on fire.

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"When I went there I was met by a group of between six and eight young people aged between 15 and 17 years old.

"The flames were shooting up from the trees and they had an old sofa sitting right in the middle of the monument.

"A number of local residents also came on the scene and were met with a lot of verbal and bad language from the group before they ran off up the banking towards Bishops Street.

"Thankfully the Fire Brigade were quickly on the scene and put the fire out."

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Councillor Kelly asked those responsible to show greater sensitivity.

"I would just make an appeal for people to respect the area in and around this monument, which is dedicated to the memory of the Republican patriot dead from the Bogside, Brandywell and Bishop Street areas."