Attack on bus returning from parade 'shameful', says priest

The bus that was attacked in Dungiven while carrying people home from the Apprentice Boys Parade on Saturday.

A 61-year-old woman needed hospital treatment after a bus carrying people returning from the Apprentice Boys parade in Derry was attacked in Dungiven, Co Derry on Saturday.

Three other people were injured after bricks were thrown through the windows of the bus.

It is believed the pensioner suffered facial injuries and a16-year-old was later arrested.

The attack was described as "shameful" by the parish priest of Dungiven.

Fr Aidan Mullan said the attack "did not represent the views of the people in Dungiven".

"What is very annoying is that it was pre-meditated, these people had to be there, armed with these stones in a pre-meditated, cold-blooded fashion," he said.

"They do not represent the good people of Dungiven and that was what people were saying to me in the church, one woman had tears in her eyes saying 'we get painted in a bad name and it's not fair, it's not right, that doesn't represent us'," he told the BBC.

"It is shameful, we're rightly ashamed, and this attack does not represent the feelings of the vast majority of people in Dungiven."

Meanwhile, police and political leaders have praised all sides involved in organising the annual Apprentice Boys’ Relief of Derry march after it passed off without incident.

Only three arrests, for public order offences, were made during the event on Saturday. Up to 15,000 Apprentice Boys took part in the march, the largest loyal order parade of the year.

Dissident republicans staged a brief white line picket at Shipquay Street as the main Apprentice Boys’ marched passed nearby. However, no incidents were reported during the protest which was organised to highlight prison issues.

While the city’s shopping centres remained open on Saturday, many shops along the route of the march closed for the day.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness praised those involved in organising the march.

Mr McGuinness tweeted:

Derry police chief, Mark McEwan said the day had passed off successfully.

"We have worked along with the parade organisers; the community sector has been fully involved in this and the operation has come together with everyone playing their part," Superintendent McEwan said.

He said the three public order arrests had to be viewed against the huge numbers taking part in the parade.

"We’ve seen in the run-up to today’s events everyone talking to each other, working well together, ourselves, our statutory partners along with the city centre management, the business community and indeed the wider community sector have all played their part," he said.

Governor of the Apprentice Boys, Jim Brownlee said this year’s march was marked by much less tension than in previous years.


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