Sleeping bags and gas cans behind bushes

Up to 100 empty aerosol cans of lighter gas, sleeping bags and plastic bags full of clothes have been discovered behind bushes in the city centre.

The discovery was made when landscape contractors went in to tidy up an area close to Quayside Car Park on Queen’s Quay.

Sleeping bags found beside empty aerosol cans near Queen's Quay.

Sleeping bags found beside empty aerosol cans near Queen's Quay.

Derry and Strabane councillor, Gary Donnelly, was contacted by the workers who made the discovery.

Colr. Donnelly described the find as “worrying” and said it flew in the face of all of the “prosperity and jobs promised” off the back of Derry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2013.

“What the men found behind the bushes on Queen’s Quay is quite shocking. It’s literally metres away from the Peace Bridge and Ebrington - these are places associated with last year’s City of Culture celebrations but where is the prosperity and jobs we were promised?,” asked Colr. Donnelly.

“This is just the tip of iceberg of the problems in Derry.To think people are prepared to sleep rough on our streets and to think they might be sniffing gas and drinking proves that there are major problems in Derry which need to be addressed.”

The plastic bags which were discovered by the workers contained a pair of shoes, socks, other items of clothes and cigarette packets.

The aerosol cans are a particular make and according to Colr. Donnelly can be purchased for very little money in several bargain shops throughout the city.

“I spoke to a man who used to engage in solvent abuse and he told me that these poor people are more than likely buying the cans of gas nearby and then sniffing them at night.

“This is a problem that we need to deal with now and people out there need to be able to access help and support,” said Colr. Donnelly.