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Anger at lack of police as bus attacked in Greysteel

By Donna Deeney

Published 15/07/2015

Police in Londonderry are to review why there was no police presence in Greysteel when a bus carrying Orange Order members was hit with stones on the way home from the Twelfth demonstrations in Coleraine.

Children under five and pensioners in their 80s were among those left terrified when a window in one bus was smashed by a large stone as it passed through the Co Derry village.

Over the past two decades police have maintained a presence at two locations in Greysteel for the demonstrations and again for the Siege of Derry commemorations in August.

In recent years this has been reduced from several vehicles to just two or three officers. Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray said in light of the attack on Monday this will now be reviewed.

Secretary of the City of Londonderry grand lodge William Wray said his 82-year-old father was among family members on the bus that was targeted.

Mr Wray said: "There were three generations of our family on the bus from my father, my sister, two of my uncles and two of my nieces and they were all badly shocked when the bus came under attack.

"We had all enjoyed a really good family-orientated day in Coleraine and this certainly marred the day for us when this happened. They were left feeling frightened and helpless, but thankfully they were not hurt.

"The driver did the right thing by driving straight on through and then pulling over when it was safe to push the broken window out from the inside to make sure no more flying glass came in on top of the passengers."

MP for the area Gregory Campbell said he passed through Greysteel 15 minutes before the attack and reported the lack of police in the village to a senior officer. "Police and local representatives in the area need to act to ensure that this is the last time Orange culture is attacked," he said.

"It's not just Orange feet being unacceptable, but even Orangemen and women sitting in a bus seems to be unacceptable to some in Greysteel."

Sinn Fein councillor Dermot Nichol, who lives in the village, was critical of those behind the attack.

He said: "Without reservation, this has to be condemned, and I know the overwhelming majority of people in the village will feel as I do."

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