Roads maintenance reinstated in Creggan after threat to worker

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Roads maintenance services have been restored in Creggan after they were withdrawn in response to a threat against a Department for Infrastructure (DfI) worker.

The threat, which was issued on Thursday, was deemed sufficiently serious for DfI to pull all of its services from the Derry estate on Friday.

Dialogue involving departmental officials, political representatives and community workers commenced on Friday to establish the threat’s veracity and to have it lifted.

SDLP MLA Mark. H. Durkan, who was involved in the behind-the-scenes communications, said the intimidation of the public servant should never have taken place.

He said he understood the DfI Roads worker had been approached by an individual on Thursday while he was marking out and photographing defects to the local roads infrastructure.

“He goes out and looks at the condition of the roads so he would have been taking pictures of potholes and kerbs. It was the photographs that this individual took issue with,” the Foyle MLA explained.

“They thought he was taking photographs of number plates and they approached him and told him to get out of Creggan and said that he had five minutes to do so,” he added.

Mr. Durkan said there were conflicting reports about whether or not the individual had issued the threat in the name of any particular republican organisation. However, it was established that no such officially sanctioned threat had been issued by any republican organisation.

“It’s great that the threat has been lifted and that services can be reinstated to the Creggan area. I wish to pay tribute to some people in the Creggan community who, through Friday night and Saturday morning, helped me establish the source of the threat and the seriousness of it and ensured its removal.

“But we have to be quite categorical that this threat or any threat shouldn’t have existed in the first place.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell echoed these sentiments, stating: “Obviously the restoration of services is to be welcomed but this threat should never have been issued in the first place and the people of Creggan should not have had to deal with the withdrawal of key services as a result.”

A DfI spokesman said: “The Department has been working closely with the PSNI as well as local elected and community representatives over the past number of days and we are pleased to confirm that we have now received the necessary assurances that our staff are safe and able to continue their work without fear of violence or intimidation. We are now able to resume services in the Creggan area.”