Fans call on Derry to review security after buses attacked

Gavin McLaughlin

Reporter:

Gavin McLaughlin

Fans call on Derry to review security after buses attacked
Dundalk fan Tony Curtis has called on Derry City to review their security arrangements following the attack on three supporters buses after Friday night’s game at The Brandywell.

Dundalk fan Tony Curtis has called on Derry City to review their security arrangements following the attack on three supporters buses after Friday night’s game at The Brandywell.

One Lilywhites supporter was left with minor injuries after a gang of youths pelted the buses with stones, smashing several windows. The incident happened just seconds after the travelling fans left The Brandywell following Dundalk’s 1-0 victory over The Candystripes.

Curtis, who has been organising travel to away games since 2009, was sitting beside the bus driver when the attack happened and said it was a ‘frightening experience’.

“I was sitting beside the driver and they came out in front of the bus and started throwing the stones, trying to put the windscreen in. I just covered my face. It was very scary,” he told the Dundalk Democrat.

“They didn’t care what damage they did,” he continued.

“There was a Derry City fan who pulled up in a car, with kids in it, and he tried to move them on but they turned on him and started throwing stones at his car. That shows you what kind of damage they were out to do.”

This is the second time in as many seasons that Dundalk fans have been subjected to such an attack leaving The Brandywell and Curtis believes that the onus is now on Derry City to take responsibility for the safety of supporters - inside and outside of the ground - after games.

“We were very lucky last year,” he recalled. “Only for a taxi driver flagged us to let us know there was a group waiting on us, we would have been attacked.

“To me this is all to do with Derry City’s security,” he added. “Nobody seems to know what the PSNI’s relationship is with the club. It’s only a 100-yard stretch of road. If the PSNI don’t police it then surely the club could put five or six stewards there to make sure the buses get away alright.”

The incidents have cast doubt as to whether Dundalk supporters will travel to The Brandywell again. Over 100 made the trip on Friday night and historically, there has been a great sense of camaraderie between supporters from both clubs.

“It would be a pity if we don’t go up there again but this has put the whole thing in jeopardy,” said Tony.

“There were a few of them in the group wearing colours but we don’t know for sure if they were at the game. Dundalk and Derry City have a great relationship and, in the end, it will be Derry who will lose out.”