Police to hold talks with Derry City football club over attack on visiting fans

Derry's Brandywell stadium.
Seamus McKinney

POLICE chiefs are to meet Derry City FC to discuss an attack on visiting football fans at the Brandywell Stadium on Tuesday night.

A 14-year-old Dundalk fan was injured when he was struck with a bottle after leaving the stadium following the team's 2 – 1 victory over Derry City in an FAI Cup semi-final replay. A bus was also damaged in what was the latest of a number of attacks on visiting fans.

Police confirmed they had received a formal complaint about Tuesday’s incident.

PSNI chief inspector Gordon McCalmont said police had a close working relationship with the Brandywell club and the community as he revealed they intended to meet club officials and community representatives in the coming days.

“We are just as disappointed over what transpired last night (Tuesday) following the match,” he said.

Derry FC director and former Northern Ireland international player, Tony O’Doherty said the latest attack could have serious implications for senior football in the area.

Mr O’Doherty said that while the attacks were carried out – as in the past – by people who weren’t associated with Derry City, the club felt a responsibility to bring them to an end.

He said: “The club would be very foolish to ignore that this could have an effect on its ability to play in the League of Ireland.”

Derry independent councillor Gary Donnelly, who helped the victims of Tuesday’s attack, said those responsible must be “faced down" as he called for an emergency meeting with community leaders.

Mr Donnelly said: “The feeling of anger against these people in the Brandywell area is palpable. They have nothing to do with Derry city but are organising fights on social media.”

Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue said extra security may now be needed during match nights.

"This is criminal behaviour by youths who are causing mayhem in our community," she said.

"The people of the Brandywell, the visiting fans, Derry City Football Club, do not want this happening in the area. "

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