Belfast Telegraph

Yob attacks on Dundalk fans just latest anti-social thuggery in area, say locals

By Donna Deeney

A witness to a crowd of violent youths wielding iron bars who attacked a young Dundalk football fan in Londonderry says someone is going to die if they are not stopped.

Up to 60 thugs went on the rampage outside the Brandywell on Tuesday night after Derry lost 2-1 to Dundalk in the FAI Cup semi-final replay.

A bus ferrying away fans was also badly damaged.

Derry City FC has apologised to the boy, but club director Tony O'Doherty said that tackling the violence needed a city-wide approach.

He said: "Unfortunately it is those who are outside the ground and outside our control who are carrying out these attacks.

"That doesn't mean we are abdicating our responsibility. We have done everything we can.

"Inside the ground, as usual, our stewards were superb. Both sets of fans were superb, but we do have a problem in the wider area.

"Most of these kids do not come to our games, do not involve themselves with Derry City and do not involve themselves with the local community, so there is a problem there for the wider society.

"We will be part of solving it but we cannot solve it on our own."

In the hours following the disturbances there was palpable anger in the Brandywell community at the actions of the young thugs, who have left the reputation of the area and the club tarnished.

One resident who was at the match said it was time the police were deployed in the area to deal with the high level of anti-social behaviour.

Jimmy McDaid said: "The problem here isn't inside the stadium, it is this gang of thugs who are not going to stop until they kill someone.

"These boys were not at the match.

"They come here only to cause bother and they are out of control.

"They are allowed to gather in big groups because there is no one outside the stadium to stop them.

"I think it is time the police were brought in, but if not the police then some sort of security."

PSNI Chief Inspector Gordon McCalmont said police had already met with club officials about the disturbances.

He said: "We have built up a close working relationship with Derry City Football Club and the local community over the years and we are just as disappointed over what transpired following the match.

"We are very much part of this city and keen to ensure that episodes like this do not detract from the overall reputation of the area."

Belfast Telegraph


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