Priest joins appeal for violence to stop

The parish priest of Dungiven has joined local councillors in an appeal to those caught up in violence in the town at the weekends to stop.

Reports have surfaced of a disturbance in a bar in the town on Saturday night and another incident on the town’s Main Street on Sunday around 7pm, according to local Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey.

Colr McGlinchey said he was inudated with people talking about what happened in the town at the weekend. He said the fight in the bar was described by several people as a “very serious fracas”.

“It shows there is no respect for life or the dignity of the person when people resort to violence,” said Fr. Aidan Mullan when asked for his comments. “It suggests a mentality that other people’s lives are cheap and that is a frightening development in any community.”

Colr. McGlinchey said: “Here we had our local boxers, Paul McCloskey and Eamonn O’Kane, bringing such pride to Dungiven and then we have these reports of fighting bringing shame to the town. Dungiven is a good town with good people and this has to stop. The people that spoke with me are disgusted by what went on. It’s a disgrace and someone will end up seriously hurt or worse, dead.”

SDLP Colr. Michael Coyle said: “I am appealing to people who frequent Dungiven at the weekend to curtail both their drinking and fighting. Over the last few months Dungiven has had an improvement to its environment through the Fleadh committee. The residents want to keep their town looking tidy and peaceful.”

Fr. Mullan said license holders have a responsibility to ensure people in public houses drink in moderation and encouraged friends of those who may be on the verge of getting involved in an incident to “advise them of the foolisness of violence”.

He added: “I am also concerned it will tarnish the good reputation of the community.”

Police say they received a report of an assault in the Main Street area of Dungiven at around 1am on Sunday. However no statement of complaint has been made.