Derry IRSP spokesperson Lucy Callaghan has expressed concern following an incident on Wednesday night in which two young men attempted to get a taxi from Derry’s city centre to the Waterside. The men were in a city centre pub to watch the Celtic v Rangers match and were wearing Celtic football jerseys.
Ms Callaghan explained what happened: “Basically these two young men exited the bar where they watched the match and decided to hail a taxi to take them home to the Top of the Hill. This is when their night out took a sinister turn. The driver of the cab, instead of bringing them home to the Waterside brought them directly into the loyalist Fountain Estate. These two young men were wearing Celtic shirts and became very frightened as they hadn’t asked to be taken to the Fountain and given the news of the frequent sectarian attacks that take place in and around the estate feared for their personal safety. They sensed that something more sinister was about to happen and took an opportunity to flee the taxi at the first opportunity. We feel that the driver, who is responsible for the care and safety of his passengers, put these young men in very serious danger.
Ms Callaghan concluded: “Luckily these young men were able to remember the number on the plate and have reported this incident to the DOE. We also believe that the PSNI are aware of this information as well. I would urge all young people to be extremely wary of using taxis that do not display the name of the depot or a valid PSV plate. This incident could have ended very badly for the young men involved if they hadn’t removed themselves from the incident in the way that they had. Luckily they did get themselves out of the area safely and thankfully weren’t physically injured but this was more to do with luck than design. I would reiterate the call for young people to travel in groups and to make pre-arranged travel arrangements where possible.”