Mediator: No aggression from Protestant side in Fountain estate

Fountain community worker Graham Warke
Fountain community worker Graham Warke

There is no aggression coming from a tiny Protestant enclave which has been subjected to a campaign of sectarian violence in Londonderry since the death of Margaret Thatcher, a mediator says.

Michael Doherty, of the city’s Peace and Reconciliation Group, said that Baroness Thatcher’s death had given dissident republicans the “excuse” that they wanted to attack the Fountain Estate.

Mobs of up to 50 teenagers have been launching petrol bombs almost nightly at the tiny Protestant estate since the former Tory leader died on April 8. The estate is surrounded by a three-mile security barrier in the mainly Catholic west of the city.

Mr Doherty told the News Letter: “Young people throwing petrol bombs at the Fountain is totally sectarian.

“I am supposed to be a mediator but I can’t do anything. There is no aggression coming out of the Fountain Estate.”

Graham Warke, a youth worker in the estate, said Monday night was the first without attacks since Baroness Thatcher died.

“We put that down to the intense media scrutiny and a lot of work being done on the ground,” he said.

“We understand the police are quite worried about Wednesday. We hope it passes off peacefully but we don’t feel any more relaxed.”

Police say adequate resources are in place to deal with any disorder and that evidence is being gathered for arrests.