Belfast Telegraph

McGuiness condemns Derry violence

Violence that followed the annual Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry was unacceptable and sectarian, Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said.

Gangs who hijacked vehicles and attacked police in nationalist areas also pulled a mother and her daughter from their car during the disturbances.

Petrol bombs were thrown at officers, and at the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall in Derry, while police were also targeted with a pipe bomb in the hours after the loyal order march took place.

As violence broke out in the wake of Saturday's event, which saw the Protestant marching organisation parade through the centre of the mainly nationalist city, a number of vehicles were stolen and set alight. There were no reports of injuries.

Mr McGuinness said: "What we witnessed last night in Derry was completely unacceptable. I challenge those who were behind this violence to come out and try and defend the incidents that occurred in our city yesterday.

"Let them stand over a mother and daughter being dragged from their car in Creggan and other people's livelihoods being destroyed with work vans being burnt.

"The attacks on the Memorial Hall were motivated entirely by sectarianism and whoever carried them out should know that such behaviour goes against everything about Irish Republicanism."

He added: "The vast majority of people in Derry want to get on with the job of moving this city forward. Those behind last night's violence seem to be wedded to an entirely different agenda."

Dissident republicans had staged protests against the parade and were involved in scuffles with police as the march passed through the centre of the city.

The Apprentice Boys' celebrations marked the 322nd anniversary of the ending of the Siege of Derry in 1689.

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