Derry City Council assumes responsibility for city walls’ security gates

I’m not sure how this fits with Brendan O’Neill’s thesis.. but the BBC tells us that, in Londonderry, police stopped opening and closing security gates around the city walls six weeks ago – “due to an increased dissident republican threat.” City Centre Initiative wardens have taken over the operation temporarily and Derry City Council is now reported to be tendering for a private security firm to control the gates – although it doesn’t appear to be on their website list yet.. I’d suggest that it makes sense to out-source that particular responsibility or, at least, it makes sense for the Council to assume the responsibility. Adds Although I’d prefer it if the intended extension of the remit of the Security Industry Authority to Northern Ireland was completed first. ANYway.. From the BBC report

Derry City Council is to employ a private security firm to open and close security gates around the city walls. The decision was taken after the police said it was too dangerous for their officers due to an increased dissident republican threat. The council said the action was taken with the support of the PSNI.

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  • A sensible move for Derry City Council.

  • joeCanuck

    Shouldn’t closing the gates be the responsibility of The Apprentice Boys?

  • hartshill

    Will someone please explain to me what the big deal is and why Derry needs police to open or close a couple of gates.

  • picador

    Well the big deal is that the police, despite having the endorsement of an overwhelming majority of people here (see 2006 Assembly election) are under threat from a bunch of narcissistic thugs.

  • hartshill

    You still haven’t explained why Derry needs police to open or close a couple of gates. Are these dangerous gates? do they snap? spring open when nobody is looking? will these gates not stay closed for a civilian such as a council worker and finally who closed those gates in the bad old days when sinn fein was all in favour of shooting cops?

  • Uriop


    Perhaps more pertinent to ask in the first place would be.

    A) Who decides whether these gates are to be open or closed? The council or the police or whom?
    B) Why would a gate need to be closed? Who does it keep from going where?
    C) Why would a gate need to be opened? Why should people X be prevented from going to place A at time s but not at time t?

  • hartshill

    What I remember from that election was some talk about sinn fein ‘putting manners’ on the psni and here now the buggers won’t even close a gate. A boyo in my neck of the woods talked in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry about having to go ‘into the rats nest’ in terms of sorting out the psni and he is a good sinn feiner so the shinners seem to view the psni as rats. A wee bitty confused, methinks, picador. By the way, Picador, bit of a bull fighting fan, are you? Not a very gentle or peacefull ‘sport’.Sticking spears in a poor old bull to weaken him and allow a ponce with a cape to kill the poor bloodied bull. I am surprised at such a pacifist as yourself having such an interest in an ugly blood sport as to adopt the name ‘picador’. Shame on you, you cruel brute, I’m going all queasy just thinking about you and the poor bull.

  • Uriop

    I mean to the non stroke city dwellers amongst us – is this an ancient accidental equivalent to what in Belfast would be called a “peace line” or is it to prevent white lightning drinking chavs from vandalising the cannons? What’s the gate for?

  • hartshill

    Indeed, very pertinent questions which I’m sure Picador will answer as I don’t have that knowledge being just a poor old sth Armagh Gosoon assuming that as the council is hiring people to deal with the gates the ‘power’ over gates must rest with that august sterling body of Derry wans.
    How big a job can it be to open and close a few gates?
    Bring back Clancy, didn’t he lower a boom or something back in the glorious days when they ate the rats of Derry just to spite the Taigs.That’d keep the buggers, or even burghers, or even burgers, out(that was before the invention of the sharing of little power and the leaving of big power to big daddy in London, bless you maam.)

  • KieranJ


    I’m given to understand that Mr. Clancy only lowered the boom “when somebody got his Irish up”. Don’t have any idea what would have to happen to him in order for him to begin closing gates in Derry.

    At any rate, I like your style. A long time since I heard the word gosoon.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    after the murder of 3 security personel this week I would have thought it was pretty clear why such tasks are being passed elsewhere. A sensible move.

  • Brian Walker

    As a native who lived practically on top of the walls in childhood and youth but haven’t been there for a couple of years I’m puzzled about what these gates are actually for. Not surely to close the gates (i.e. the road) in the 1688 or 1970s and 80s sense, but to bar access to the walls? Can any Derry wan enlighten me?

  • Harry Flashman

    This Derry wan also is confused as to which gates we’re talking about and why the Peelers needed to be opening and closing them.

    A wee bit more background info wouldn’t go amiss I think.

  • joeCanuck

    who lived practically on top of the walls

    Wow; was that your statue up there guvnor?

  • fin

    if the role was previously done by the PSNI does that not mean that anyone doing the job in future can be viewed as a collaborator and hence a legitimate target.

  • joeCanuck

    C’mon fin,
    Don’t put ideas into idiot murderers heads.

  • Brian Walker

    Joe, Rev George the guv’nor and rector of Donoughmore was no relation, I fear. His last descendant was a lady I think from Nova Scotia who was produced by Paisley in the 1960s.

  • Yer Woman

    Speaking as a ‘Wan’, they might be talking about Bishop’s Gate as that, as far a I’m aware, is the only one with actual working gates still attached plus it’s right next to the Court House. Actually, on futher consideration, this doesn’t make much sense at all.