Dundalk hoping to bring supporters to The Brandywell

Gavin McLaughlin

Reporter:

Gavin McLaughlin

One of the Dundalk FC supporters buses that was attacked in Derry in March
Dundalk are hoping to come to a resolution with Derry City which would guarantee the safety of supporters who wish to travel to Friday night’s game at The Brandywell.

Dundalk are hoping to come to a resolution with Derry City which would guarantee the safety of supporters who wish to travel to Friday night’s game at The Brandywell.

The Lilywhites’ last trip to the Maiden City on March 14 ended in turmoil when a group of youths pelted three supporters buses with stones, smashing several windows and leaving a Dundalk fan with minor injuries.

The incident was the second time in as many seasons that Dundalk followers were subjected to such an attack leaving The Brandywell.

Tony Curtis, who has been organising travel to away games since 2009, witnessed the incident first hand that night, describing it as a ‘frightening experience’.

And, speaking to The Dundalk Democrat on Sunday, he said that he would not be running a bus to the game on Friday because Derry City could not guarantee Dundalk fans that they would have a safe journey to and from the ground.

“The local company who supply the buses, Seven’s Coaches, wanted assurances from Derry City that there would be no trouble. Derry City couldn’t confirm that so there will be no T&C Travel bus going to the game.

“It’s not right that we can’t be guaranteed a safe trip,” he continued. “The trouble took place at one junction, just yards from the ground, and surely Derry City could ensure the area is safe for ten minutes after the game.

“All it is doing is depriving League of Ireland fans of going to a game. I’m disappointed for the supporters who love going to away games and I’m sure we would have taken at least 150 to Derry but a lot of them don’t want to go back after what happened the last time and it’s hard to blame them for that.”

When the incident occurred in March, Derry City condemned the actions of those who attacked the Dundalk buses but said they were happy with their policing of The Brandywell and stated that what happened outside the ground was ‘a social issue in the area’.

However on Monday, Dundalk FC Chairman Ciaran Bond said that talks were ongoing between the clubs to ensure the safety of those who travel north.

“We’re currently in discussion with Derry City to ensure our supporters safety, to and from The Brandywell,” said Bond.

“Derry City have agreed that all buses can park in their secure parking area and are looking into the idea of a steward escort from the ground to the junction which has been a troubled area in the past.”