A unity rally was held at the junction of Fahan Street and Butcher Gate last night at 7.30 pm following six nights of violence.
Hundreds of people turned out for the rally in the city which was been left scarred and put residents in fear of their lives in both the Bogside and the Founstain estate.
One youth was arrested last night the in the Collon Lane area of the city for public order offences.
In his address, Bishop McKeown said: “The last week has been a very stressful time for many in this community. Emotions have been running high. Angry words have been used on various sides.
“And those of us in comparatively comfortable positions of leadership need to remember that a lot of our fellow citizens feel left out.
“They do not see the last 20 years as having benefitted them. Some communities that suffered much in the past are still suffering disadvantage. There are young people who feel life is passing them by and looking down on them.
“But if there is one lesson that the people of this city have learned over the years, it is that violence and destruction do not help anyone.
“They do not advance any cause. We have discovered that talking is the only way that builds people up. Destruction and aggression end up damaging the very communities that some people claim to be defending.
“You cannot claim to love your country – and, at the same time, cause pain and destruction to the people who live there. All who live here are part of this country. All deserve to be cherished equally.
“We believe that we have the human resources to create a community where all our fellow citizens feel included. We believe that everyone here has something unique and valuable to contribute to a better future.
Those of us who have gathered here have come because we love this city and all its people. We seek the welfare of all.
“But we are determined that this great city will not be drawn back into a repetition of the terrible years of awful suffering and loss.
“We will speak out against those who promote only destruction and despair. Nothing can be built with petrol bombs or stones thrown in anger. The foundation for a happy future will be built on dialogue and inclusion.
“Tonight, on behalf of so many in our city, I say
the people of Derry deserve better than violence;
the people of Derry are capable of so much better than violence;
the people of Derry are proud of their city and want to welcome people here, not frighten them off.
“In the city of the three bridges, can we start mending bridges tonight and walking forward together?”