Tiny minority giving Galliagh a bad name

Sinn Fein councillor Tony Hassan has said he is shocked by reports from several media outlets that Galliagh is a dangerous place to live.

Speaking after a number of council workers were forced to leave the estate after being attacked as they repaired lights, Mr Hassan who is from the area said: “Recent press has suggested that everyone gets attacked when they come into Galliagh - this is simply not the case.

“Galliagh has one of the best communities in this city and it is a tiny minority of mischevious young people who are behind this behaviour and they certainly don’t represent anyone in this community.

“The Off The Streets Initiative and Galliagh Women’s Group are constantly engaging with young people on the ground in Galliagh and they are doing a great job.

“There are always going to be young people causing trouble, be it in Galliagh or anywhere else, but they just don’t get the bad press that we get.

“For instance, the car crime in Galliagh has abated significantly in recent years.

“Galliagh is as safe a place to live as anywhere else in this city, and it frustrates and angers me that the media continue to paint this area in a bad light.

“As an elected Councillor for the area, I can assure you that Galliagh is not a no-go area.”

The Mayor of Derry, Colum Eastwood, condemned those responsible for the attack.

“It’s important to say that Galliagh is not a no-go area but the kids who did this need to realise they are giving the place a bad name,” he said.

Mr Eastwood also said it was not the first time such an incident had happened in the Derry estate.

“A number of weeks ago BT staff were also threatened,” he said.

“The people who are doing this are also threatening local people with violence and intimidation.”

‘An element’

Galliagh community worker, Peter McDonald, said there was “an element” in the community “hell bent on destruction”.

“It has been quiet in Galliagh lately but this must stop. There is no doubt there is vandalism here but it is no different from anywhere else. Galliagh is not a bad place to live. Ninety per cent of the young people are good,” Mr McDonald said.

Derry City Council workers were attacked as they repaired lights in Linear Park in Galliagh on Tuesday.