Northern Ireland news

Fountain residents blame lack of government at Stormont for Derry violence

Scene on the Derry Walls above the Bogside in Derry on Wednesday after several shots were fired at the police. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

RESIDENTS in the firing line of disorder in Derry have placed some of the blame with the lack of government in Stormont.

The predominantly Protestant Fountain estate has been under attack for five consecutive nights as unrest between youths from the nearby Bogside and the police spilled into the traditionally unionist enclave.

Undeterred, many took to the streets on Thursday to watch as the main Twelfth parade passed across the city and through the Fountain.

There was a heavy police presence as Orange Order members and bands marched, despite an earlier security alert.

Police confirmed that two crude but viable devices were discovered on the city's walls in the early hours of Thursday. They were made safe and taken away for further examination.

One Fountain resident, Ruby Jordan (85) said she had hoped that type of violence was over.

"I think it's the politics of today. The assembly isn't even sitting, hospitals aren't getting their money or the schools, what kind of example is that to be setting for young people? They're making it seem like it's us and them," she said.

"I was born and raised in the old Fountain and people from the other side used to come up and celebrate the Twelfth with us, it's not like that now."

The latest disturbances came a day after dissident republicans were blamed for firing at police with an automatic weapon.

On Wednesday, youths armed with petrol bombs and stones threw missiles into the Fountain and at police stationed on the city's walls.

A fire was also started at the bottom of the flyover in the Bogside. Young people were seen stoking the burning wooden pallets, preventing cars from entering or exiting the roadway.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he was "very concerned at the escalation of violence in Derry".

"The ongoing reckless endangerment of lives, which is being orchestrated by a small and violent minority, must stop," he said.

"It is shocking that young people are being allowed - and even encouraged - to engage in the dangerous activities of the past few nights.

"I would urge all those involved to consider their actions and reflect on the damage that they are wreaking on their city and their community."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news