Rumours of Fountain mockery of Bloody Sunday dead untrue

Jeanette Warke with residents of The Fountain. Photo Phil Gamble
Jeanette Warke with residents of The Fountain. Photo Phil Gamble

RUMOURS circulating online last night that the top of the bonfire in Londonderry’s Fountain estate had a wooden structure mocking the Bloody Sunday dead have proved untrue.

A photograph showing a wooden imitation of Free Derry Corner with the names of the Bloody Sunday dead scrawled on it was circulated on Facebook and Twitter last night alongside claims that it could be found atop the 11th Night bonfire in the Fountain. These claims have proved to have been totally untrue.

Well known community worker Jeanette Warke, from the Cathedral Youth Group, has said that the rumours could have caused a ‘bloodbath’. She thanked the young people in Londonderry’s Fountain estate for remaining calm and ignoring the “loose talk” which could have “cost lives”.

It has since been discovered that the image of the sign mocking victims of the Bloody Sunday massacre was taken in 2010 in Lisburn.

Ms. Warke said that she immediately knew that the rumours were untrue because the “young people in the Fountain would not have been so stupid and insensitive to do something like this”.

She said that when the young people in the area discovered that rumours were circulating they had put the sickening mockery of victims of the Bloody Sunday massacre on their bonfire, they were “horrified.” Ms Warke said: “The young people here were absolutely gobsmacked by this rumour.”

She also spoke of the fearful atmosphere among young people in the Fountain when they became aware of the completely inaccurate rumours, adding that they “went down into the Bogside to see if there were groups of young people gathering. Thankfully the young people there hadn’t reacted to the rumours.

“I would like to thank the young people of this city for showing the adults how to behave. All the adults on facebook were spreading this rumour, but the young adults hadn’t been taken in. As we always say, don’t jump in – always check it out.

She said the rumours could have caused a bloodbath: “The rumours were totally irresponsible. The loose talk could have cost lives. We could have been looking at young people from the Fountain and the Bogside severely injured or dead today because of this. It could have resulted in a bloodbath.”

She added: “Young people from both sides could have been drawn in, and the PSNI would have had to come as well. That is three groups of people who could have been hurt.”

Jeanette also challenged anyone in Londonderry to come along to the Fountain and see for themselves the good work being done by young people in the area.