Car burned out at Irish Street

SERIOUS vandalism has occurred in the Irish Street estate for the second weekend in a row.

In what a local councillor has described as bearing all the hallmarks of a sectarian attack, a car was burned out at Bann Drive in the early hours of Monday morning.

Following on from attacks on over two dozen cars in the estate the previous weekend, the latest incident has been outrightly condemned by DUP Alderman Drew Thompson.

Mr Thompson told the Sentinel:"The windows were broken and some sort if flammable liquid poured in before the car was set alight."

The councillor related that two men had been seen in the area in the early hours of the previous morning. He said that locals had challenged the pair who then left the area but appeared to have returned in the early hours of Monday to carry out the crime.

"I think this incident has all the hallmarks of a sectarian attack. We have already set up a meeting with the police to discuss all aspects of these attacks. This is a total and absolute disgrace, and these incidents have been ongoing since July."

The DUP man said he would be emphasizing to the PSNI the need to have more personnel on the ground and contended that if these incidents kept occurring that sooner or later it would only succeed in provoking a response.

"People are going to retaliate. And, people in Irish Street are saying that the interface has moved right into to the estate. It's no longer the case that the interface is at the site of the old Clondermott School, it's right in the heart of Irish Street."

SDLP Waterside councillor Martin Reilly also condemned those responsible for setting the car on fire.

He said: "This latest attack follows on from a number of incidents which are obviously designed to create tension, disruption and havoc for the people in this area.

"These types of incident offer nothing to either community and I would appeal to those carrying out such attacks to stop immediately.

"I would also encourage anyone with information on those responsible to contact the police."

A police spokeswoman confirmed that they were looking into the incident. The spokeswoman told the Sentinel: "Police in Foyle are appealing for information after a car was set on fire in the Bann Drive area during the early hours of Monday (18th). Anyone who was in the area around 3am and could help police with their inquiries is asked to telephone 08456008000. Alternatively information can be passed on anonymously through the 'Crimestoppers' charity on freephone 0800555111."