Dissidents blamed for burning firm's vans
Dissident republicans are being blamed for three arson attacks on vans belonging to a property maintenance company after workers removed graffiti from Derry’s Walls.
Leading political and business figures have lambasted those behind the attacks and demanded the threats against the staff of Omega are lifted immediately.
Two vans in the Bogside and Ballymagroarty were set on fire on Saturday and on Sunday a third was set alight in Foyle Springs, all outside the homes of employees.
Political graffiti was daubed on the Walls on Friday, but half-an-hour after the workers began to remove it they were forced to leave after being threatened.
City Centre Manager Jim Roddy, who tasked the firm with removing the graffiti, was with the workers when the threat came.
He said: “A number of people arrived on the scene and they were very angry towards the workers and myself, so the workers left the scene and I left the scene and a short time later Omega vans started to get burnt.
“I spoke to the owners and they are not feeling too good. I am feeling upset to say the least.”
Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney said: “I call on those who issued the threat to lift it immediately and do so publicly.”
The Londonderry Chamber of Commerce described the attacks as “outrageous”.
Foyle MP Mark Durkan said: “Those who are intent on bringing these acts of terror to our streets will not succeed.”
Police have asked anyone with information to contact detectives at Strand Road station on 0845 600 8000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.