Vandals branded ‘thugs’

The Peace Bridge, Derry. (DER3413PG003)
The Peace Bridge, Derry. (DER3413PG003)

Vandals, who have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the City’s iconic Peace Bridge and public realm artwork, have been branded as ‘thugs’.

The attack took place early on Monday.

Newly-elected DUP Councillor David Ramsey said the latest attack had left him feeling disgusted and saddened, particularly as the colourful artwork had been made by young people with special needs.

Regeneration company ILEX, meanwhile, said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ that the reinforced glass panels had been smashed.

Condemning the vandalism, Councillor Ramsey said: “I feel disgust and sadness at yet another attack on the Peace Bridge. The bridge has become an integral part of Londonderry and everyone is proud of it.

“The vandals have caused thousands of pounds of damage and are to be strongly condemned for lurking about in the dark and attacking our City’s newest icon. I understand the bridge may not be fixed in time for the Maritime Festival”.

He continued: “I understand the figures around the fences have also been damaged by thugs. These colourful artworks are part of the UK City of Culture and were handcrafted by many people and children with special needs. It is absolutely disgusting that anyone would do this after the hard work that these people put into bringing colour and life to the city.”

In a statement Ilex an official expressed serious concern at the smashing of a glass panel.

Ilex’s Paul Doherty said: “We are extremely disappointed that individuals have, once again, vandalised the Peace Bridge. In the early hours of May 26 one of the protective glass panels overlooking the railway line was deliberately smashed. While the reinforced glass panels are shatter resistant, they are not designed to withstand deliberate physical force.

“The Peace Bridge will soon celebrate its third birthday and in that short space of time, it has become a key part of city life. We urge all users of the Peace Bridge to respect it as a shared public space and to ensure pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy it”.