Rally held at paint bombed Creggan community centre

Creggan Healthy Living Centre
Image caption The paint bomb damage to Creggan Healthy Living Centre

A rally has taken place at a Londonderry community centre which was paint bombed in the early hours of Friday morning.

Graffiti reading 'RUC station' was also daubed on the walls of Creggan Healthy Living Centre.

Project director Seamus Heaney said he believed the centre was targeted because police attended an event there.

Mr Heaney said the attack was "disappointing", but he had no regrets about inviting the PSNI.

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartneywas one of about 60 people who attended the rally.

He said the "small minority" behind the attack would not stop the centre's work.

"This is a valued project delivering good services in this community, yet it was attacked by people who say they are from this community.

"It is very noticeable that there is no-one coming forward today to give some justification of why this happened."

Renewed policing debate

Mr Heaney described the incident as a "very poor response" to the work of the centre.

"This signifies that there does need to be a renewed debate in communities like Creggan around the whole issue of policing," he said.

"As far as I am aware there were 200 domestic violence attacks within this community in the past number of months.

"Does that mean that all those homes are going to be paint bombed because the police attended those incidents? I don't think so.

"We will get this mess cleaned up and we will move on," he said.

"Obviously this is coming from people who feel angered at the actions I've taken.

"If they have an issue with me they should come and talk to me. Dialogue is the only way forward.

"This belongs to another era, this is an attack against the community."

The police said they are investigating a report of criminal damage that occurred sometime overnight on Thursday at a centre in the Central Drive area of Derry.

A spokesperson said it was reported that a number of windows were smashed and paint thrown on the building.

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