Dundalk fan attacked after Derry City match at Brandywell

Derry City director Tony O'Doherty said "local kids" were behind the trouble
Image caption Derry City director Tony O'Doherty said "local kids" were behind the trouble

Derry City Football Club have apologised to fans caught up in trouble after a match against Dundalk on Tuesday night.

A teenager suffered head injuries, not said to be serious, and a Dundalk supporters' bus was vandalised.

Club director Tony O'Doherty warned the club's future in the League of Ireland could be in doubt if trouble continued.

The police said they have received a formal complaint and have appealed for witnesses.

'Mob with iron bars'

The trouble in the Lecky Road area came after Derry lost 2-1 to Dundalk in an FAI Cup semi-final replay at Brandywell Stadium.

There is no police presence outside Brandywell stadium, something that is unusual for League of Ireland matches.

"First of all I want to pass on best wishes from Derry City Football Club to the Dundalk fans who had that experience last night," Mr O'Doherty said.

"They came in a mini-bus, parked about 500 metres from the ground...tyres were let down, windows were broken and some graffiti was scrawled on the bus.

"It was not a typical experience, we had a massive crowd here, all fans together with no segregation in front of great game of football."

Its not the first time visitors have been attacked outside the Brandywell stadium.

Fans from Irish league and League of Ireland clubs have been on the receiving end of verbal abuse and physical attacks over the years.

Gerry Malone, a reporter for LMFM radio in the Republic of Ireland, saw the attack on a teenage boy on Tuesday night.

"A mob of about 60 people attacked the supporters. They had iron bars and he was hit on the side of the head with one of these.

"The Derry officials were very good. The stewards were on the ball immediately and he was treated by the club doctor."

PSNI Ch Insp Gordon McCalmont said he will meet Derry City Football Club and community representatives to review what happened.

"We have built up a close working relationship with the club and the local community over the years and we are just as disappointed over what transpired last night."

Meanwhile, when asked about the level of security in the area, Mr O'Doherty said Brandywell residents would have a big part to play.

"If the police decide that they are going to patrol outside the ground, that's up to them," he said.

"Inside the ground, we did everything that was humanly possible and everything that was within the letter of the law.

"Unfortunately, these are events outside the ground which we can't control but we have to find a way of dealing with them," he added.

'Disgusted'

Derry City and Strabane District councillor Gary Donnelly arrived at the scene shortly after the trouble on Tuesday.

"When I arrived, the crowd had dispersed and the Dundalk fans' mini-bus, which had been attacked, had been repaired and they were about to leave the area but they were visibly shaken," he said.

"Residents told me that after the game a number of Dundalk fans were making their way back to the bus when one of them was assaulted."

Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue, who lives in the area, said extra security may now be needed during match nights.

"This is criminal behaviour by youths who are causing mayhem in our community," she said.

"The people of the Brandywell, the visiting fans, Derry City Football Club, do not want this happening in the area. "

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