Driver doused in petrol during Derry hijacking as city suffers third night of violence

Police come under attack in Derry in a third day of violence in the city
A driver was doused in petrol by a group of men who hijacked his recovery lorry before setting it alight in Derry last night as the city suffered a third night of violence. 

In another incident a masked gang of up to 20 people, some armed with metal bars, tried unsuccessfully to hijack a man’s car.

There were further hijackings and attempted hijackings in the city last night, after similar incidents in recent days.

The fifth anniversary of the introduction of internment on 9th August 1971 was marked with disturbances and the hijacking and burning of vehicles. This picture was taken on the Falls Road, Belfast, N Ireland. 197608090356b
Copyright Image from Victor Patterson, 54 Dorchester Park, Belfast, United Kingdom, UK.
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Youths threw petrol bombs, paint bombs and other missiles at police in two separate locations as officers responded to a hoax security alert on Skeoge Road and later to the hijacking of the recovery lorry near Galliagh roundabout. Police said around 150 young people had gathered close to the roundabout and officers were attacked.

Two to three men stopped the recovery vehicle and one of them poured fuel inside the lorry “covering the driver”.


“Both males managed to escape from the vehicle in what was a terrifying ordeal for them and get to safety before the truck was set alight.

“NIFRS and police attended the scene where a crowd of around 150 people had gathered. Some of those who had gathered threw missiles, including stones and bottles, at officers. A petrol bomb was also thrown but failed to ignite.

“As this was taking place, police received a report of an attempted hijacking in Galliagh Park where a woman was stopped by a young masked male who tried to take her vehicle – a black Kia – using a wheelbrace. The woman managed to flee to safety. Damage was caused to the car door, and the woman was understandably left shaken.”

Police said the third incident took place at around 12:40am today when a van was hijacked and set alight in Fergleen Park.

Another attempted hijacking was reported just after 2am when up to 20 masked people, some armed with metal bars, tried unsuccessfully to hijack a man’s car on Fairview Road

A number of vehicles were also hijacked in the city on Tuesday August 4.

Derry and Strabane District Commander Chief Superintendent Emma Bond said the violence was “not representative of this city” and was taking place against the backdrop of the death and funeral of former SDLP and civil rights leader John Hume.

She said police had gathered evidence with a view to making arrests and asked community and elected representatives to continue using their influence.

“This has been the third night of disorder in our city at the hands of cowards determined to cause disruption in our communities.  It is unacceptable and I am very disappointed people made a deliberate decision to go out onto the streets and cause trouble,” CS Bond said.

“Yesterday, the world’s media was focused on the city as John Hume was laid to rest. The scenes in our communities last night are not representative of this city.

“I want to stress the disorder we have seen on our streets over the past few nights has been caused by a minority of people who have absolutely no regard for our communities being impacted, and the people who live here.”

CS Bond had a message for onlookers.

“I would also urge anyone, including those who gathered to watch this disorder last night to understand this is not entertainment. This is dangerous, reckless activity, which has a significant impact on not only the people whose vehicles were targeted, but also on the local communities.”

She thanked community and elected representatives who had been on the ground last night and asked them to continue to use their influence “to help us maintain control of the situation so we don’t have another night of disorder and our communities don’t come under attack again”.

“We have gathered evidence in relation to these incidents and are working to identify those responsible and those involved and we can assure the public we will be working towards making arrests,” she added.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Maeve Connolly for the original story 




(Suzanne Breen, Sunday World)

Families of IRA men executed by the SAS in Derry today accuse Martin McGuinness of betrayal.

Two of the most respected republican families in McGuinness’s native city say they’re disgusted that he has “disowned” IRA members who laid down their lives for the republican cause.

Martina Duffy, whose IRA father Patsy died in a hail of SAS bullets, said: “Martin McGuinness has abandoned the IRA and criminalised its members as he desperately tries to woo Southern voters in the presidential election.

“He says the Irish Army is the only Oglaigh na hEireann he supports. It’s a pity, he didn’t tell that years ago to the dozens of volunteers in another Oglaigh na hEireann who now lie dead in Derry city cemetery.

“They’re in their graves while he wants to live in luxury in Aras an Uachtarain.”

Duffy claimed IRA families in McGuinness’s own republican heartland in Derry were horrified at the “u-turns” he was doing during the election campaign.

She said McGuinness had “criminalised” her father and other IRA martyrs in a desperate attempt to get elected. “He should hang his head in shame for what he’s done,” she added.

Patsy Duffy (50) was shot dead by the SAS in 1978 as he checked an arms’ dump in a house in the Brandywell. “The SAS fired 36 bullets at him. He was shot in the back and the side. He was unarmed but our family never complained because, as an IRA volunteer, he knew the risks involved,” his daughter said.

Her father’s jacket, shirt, cardigan and trousers were riddled with bullet holes. Duffy washed the blood out of them but refused to part with the clothes. Today, they are lovingly stored in her Derry home. “I keep them to remind me what daddy went through for the IRA,” she said.

She told the Sunday World how McGuinness had attended her father’s wake and funeral. “He told us he was proud of IRA men like my daddy. He saw the Oglaigh na hEireann my father fought and died for as the one and only Oglaigh na hEireann. He didn’t even recognise, let alone, respect the Free State Army.

“Now he’s swearing allegiance to them and singing their praises. He’s got 40 faces – a different one for everybody he meets.” And Martina Duffy added: “Martin McGuinness has told voters he’s ashamed of some IRA actions and thinks they were murder.

“Well, genuine republicans in Derry are ashamed of him. He’s portraying himself as Ireland’s Nelson Mandela. He says he’s a man of peace and always was. Who does he think he’s kidding? It’s a joke, a sick joke.”

Accusing McGuinness of treachery, Duffy said: “For decades, he stood at the republican monument in Derry city cemetery giving orations as IRA men were buried and vowing the war would go on until there was a united Ireland.

“Hundreds of young men and women in this city believed him and ended up in graves themselves or the lucky ones were jailed. And those prisoners came out to wrecked marriages, children who grew up not knowing them, no jobs and no chance of a job.

“McGuinness has left us to cope with the wreckage of the war while he pursues power and position. All he’s out for is himself.”

Duffy’s mother struggled to cope after her husband’s death: “Mammy was left to rear six wee children on her own. I’m glad she’s dead now because it would have broken her heart to see Martin McGuinness do a u-turn and criminalise his old comrades.

“It’s not just IRA victims who are furious at McGuinness – republicans like my family are just as angry.” Duffy denounced the Sinn Féin presidential candidate for saying he’d meet Prince Charles, commander-in-chief of the parachute regiment which killed 14 civilians on Bloody Sunday. “It’s like a bad dream,” she said.

She added that she now respected John Hume far more than McGuinness: “People, including my mother, protested outside John Hume’s house years ago for saying a lot less anti-republican things than Martin McGuinness has since said.

“John Hume is a man of principle. I don’t agree with his politics but he stayed true to himself and his beliefs – he didn’t change them when it became opportune.”

Danny McBrearty, whose IRA brother George was killed in May 1981 by the SAS in Derry, said: “Martin McGuinness was at George’s funeral and wake. Had he said then that my brother was wrong and that the IRA wasn’t Oglaigh na hEireann, he’d have been thrown out of our house.”

George McBrearty is widely regarded as being one of the IRA’s most active members in Derry. He was responsible for killing several RUC men and British soldiers. “Martin McGuinness knew George very well army-wise,” said Danny McBrearty.

“He was fully aware of what George was capable of and he didn’t have a problem with it. Yet now he’s turning his back on men like my brother. George was 24-years-old when he was killed. He left behind three children – the youngest was only three weeks old.

“Republican families like ours are now asking what it was all for not just in terms of our own loss and sacrifice but on what we inflicted on our enemy. More than 3,500 people died in the war. As republicans, we thought we were fighting for Irish freedom. We certainly weren’t fighting to make Martin McGuinness head of the 26-county state.”

Danny McBrearty – himself jailed in Ireland, Britain and the US on IRA charges – has known McGuinness for over 40 years: “We worked together as young lads in Doherty’s butchers’ shop on the Strand Road.

“We were in the IRA together in the 1970s. We were very close. I always thought of Martin as a sound army man, totally committed to the struggle. Never in a million years did I think he’d end up where he is today. He’s a constitutional nationalist, not a republican now.”

McBrearty added: “People went to hell and back for the IRA in this city. Martin has turned his back on all that and he’s even trying to rewrite history and pretend he wasn’t part of it. The families of dead volunteers in Belfast, Tyrone and all over the North are very disillusioned at what’s happened. They feel hurt and abandoned.”

The Sinn Féin candidate has refused to rule out wearing a poppy on Remembrance Sunday if he’s elected President. “You wont find any republicans in Derry doing the same,” McBrearty said. “For us, the poppy isn’t a neutral symbol to honour the dead. It is, and always will be, a symbol of British oppression.”

The ex-IRA man said he personally knew no former comrades who supported McGuinness’s presidential bid. “The only ones backing it are MLAs and others who have well-paid positions in Sinn Féin or who belong to the party’s middle-management. The ordinary volunteers who put their lives on the line and fought the war are appalled.”