Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Vandals wreck Brandywell stadium toilet block and steal copper piping

Toilets under the south stand at the Brandywell Stadium

Derry City Council is still counting the cost after vandals ransacked toilet facilities and stole copper piping in an overnight attack at Brandywell stadium.

The south end stand in the stadium was targeted in the latest in a series of incidents of anti-social behaviour at the home ground of Derry City FC.

Sinks were ripped from the walls and pipes damaged during the attack, which was discovered and reported at around 11.30am on Monday.

The council’s leisure services manager Jeff Ashe said that the damage was extensive.

“This is the latest in a number of sporadic acts of vandalism in the Brandywell stadium,” he said.

“On this occasion, significant damaged has been caused to the toilet facilities, however it is too early to determine what repair costs will be.

“Attacks of this nature are to be condemned and we would appeal for anyone with information to contact the PSNI.”

Sinn Fein councillor for the area Patricia Logue condemned the incident.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that anyone would even contemplate attacking facilities at the stadium,” she said.

“Derry City Council will now be left with a hefty repair bill to fix this damage.”

The damage is another blow to Derry City as the stadium is already in a poor condition.

The council appealed to Stormont for funds to upgrade the ground, but has been told no money will be available for several years.

The case for redeveloping the stadium has become even more pressing following Derry City’s recent victory in the FAI Cup, meaning they will be playing European football next year.

Currently the arena is not considered fit to host such games, meaning Derry may have to play their European home games at a different venue.

Detectives in Strand Road have confirmed they are investigating the criminal damage.

A PSNI spokeswoman said : “It is believed that unknown people broke into the stadium via a rear wall accessed from the Southend Park area.

“Extensive damage has been caused to three toilet blocks just below the south end stand.

“Copper pipes were taken and wash hand basins were removed, but not taken,” she added. “Anyone who noticed any unusual activity in the area overnight or who has any information is asked to contact detectives at Strand Road on 0845 600 8000.

“Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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