Dissidents heckle community worker over police invite

A Creggan community worker has defended his decision to invite Londonderry's police commander to his centre despite criticism from some residents.

Seamas Heaney was challenged by dissident republicans in the estate over the invitation to Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin.

Mr Heaney - whose brother was an IRA man killed by the SAS - was heckled during a BBC interview.

Paddy McDaid said Mr Heaney was "out of touch with the feeling on the ground".

"The fact that these people were brought into the centre and made to feel welcome, it's definitely out of touch.

"He talks about building trust, well how can you build trust when republicans on a daily basis are bearing the brunt of the actions of the PSNI within this community?"

Seamas Heaney said that he understood why some people were against the invitation.

"I found it personally difficult to make that jump, because a lot of my gut instinct was to reject policing because of the life experience I had.

"But I also recognise you can't stay locked in the past.

"We need to be reaching out, and people in the police and in the Protestant community need to be reaching out to us.

"I understand the anger, and I understand that some people find it very difficult and very painful to see things like this happening in a community that they saw ravaged by police violence in years gone by, but the reality is they have to move on."