THE Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle has condemned Saturday nights attack in Derry City’s city centre.
Speaking close to the harrowing scene, Mayor Boyle said that he was at a loss for words following a ‘blast bomb’ explosion outside Derry’s courthouse.
The van, which is believed to have been hijacked in a nearby area, was taken to the local courthouse before being denoted at approximately 8:15pm.
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Nearby bars and businesses were evacuated as police extend the safety cordon. Residents from the Bishop’s Gate Hotel have been brought to nearby hotels for the night.
Speaking at The Diamond, in the middle of the town centre, Boyle said these kinds of action ‘belonged in the past’.
He said: “For the people who have done this tonight, they have disrupted and threatened lives this evening,” Boyle said.
“These actions belong in the past and it should have stayed in the past and, really I would ask a simple question, what was this all about?”
Boyle continued: “What do you think you have achieved here tonight by doing this? When you brought this van into the city centre, hijacked it from a hard-working member of this community and exploded a device.
“What has this achieved?”
Boyle insisted, despite the nature of the act, the people of Derry do not want a return to the city’s troubled history.
“All right-thinking individuals in this city will appreciate and recognise this is a vestige of our past.
“We have all moved beyond this some considerable time ago,” he added. “Therefore, we are also looking at a situation where people are saying you are not doing it in our name.
“So, if you are not doing it in anybody’s name, why are you doing it?”
“This is an attack on the local community,” Boyle stressed.
“There are people who are very determined to move this place forward. The question I would ask them is, are they determined to move this place backwards? That is what it looks like.”