Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Bohemian fans blamed for Derry bar attack

Football fans travelling from Dublin for the Eircom League Cup final clash with Derry City were today blamed for attacking a bar on the edge of the predominantly Protestant Fountain area.

The Tavern in London Street had windows smashed and a number of drinkers were injured in the melee at around 7pm yesterday.

The trouble came as Derry City and Bohemians prepared to meet at the Brandywell.

Bar owner Kingsley Curry said a 30-strong gang smashed four windows made of reinforced glass, trashed furniture and broke bottles before a small number of regulars were able to barricade the front door to prevent them re-entering.

He said the culprits had "southern accents" and may have travelled to the game from the Republic.

However, Mr Curry said that the bar, better known as the 'Talk of the Town', would reopen for business as usual today.

"It was a crowd of hooligans going to the game at the Brandywell," he said. "They were all from the Republic, the whole lot of them, the staff said."

He said when he arrived after being contacted by worried employees, the mob had moved on. "They broke windows and there was a scuffle inside and the staff tried to get them out and they tried to climb back in through the broken windows," he said.

He added that there was only a small number of patrons in the bar, comprising middle aged or elderly men and some female tourists from Canada.

"One wee girl in for a drink had to go to hospital, when she was hit on the hand with something, she was badly shaken. A barman had a cut on his ear from flying glass," said the owner.

Police said that a 17-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident.

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