‘Londonderry riots being orchestrated by cowards hiding in the shadows’

An individual wearing a balaclava standing in front of a burning barricade on Fahan Street in Londonderry as disorder flared in the city for a sixth successive night. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
An individual wearing a balaclava standing in front of a burning barricade on Fahan Street in Londonderry as disorder flared in the city for a sixth successive night. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The police and justice system must go after “violent republicans” who are orchestrating disorder on the streets of Londonderry, the UUP’s justice spokesman has said.

Doug Beattie MC MLA made his comments after six nights of violence in the Bogside area of the city, during which dozens of petrol bombs have been thrown and attempts made to murder police officers.

“What we are seeing in Londonderry is not representative of the majority of the people who live there. However, it is no good just saying this in an attempt to minimise what has been happening over the last six days in the city,” he commented.

“What we have seen is rioting that has terrorised the people of the Fountain estate and the Bogside and serious attempts to murder police officers and the ordinary hard working citizens of the city. What is happening in Londonderry is disgraceful.

“What we have had from day one – in fact from a number of weeks previously – is orchestrated rioting by violent republicans in order to create a reaction from the police to justify their actions. It is quite deliberate and it is straight out of the republican terror manual, where grown men coerce children to do their vile dirty work for them.

“These so-called brave men and women sitting at home or in the pubs drinking, hide in the shadows, while children destroy the reputation of the city and those that live in it, must be targeted by the PSNI and justice system.”

Mr Beattie added: “Londonderry is gearing up to host the Foyle Maritime Festival and the Foyle Cup football tournament. Last night Derry City played a Europa League match against Dinamo Minsk at the Brandywell. These are the events that should be part of daily life in a modern city, not gangs of thugs out to wreak havoc and terrorise locals and visitors alike.

“In the meantime I call for calm, and I ask that the PSNI are given the time, space, support and information to bring this situation under control.”