Londonderry heritage, the latest target of rejectionist republicans

I’ve only just noticed this, the latest very precisely sectarian target of rejectionist republicans, next door to my old family home. They knew what they were doing, attacking the heart of the Plantation heritage. Part of a pattern of identifying iconic targets for maximum impact, it didn’t of course compare with the murder attempt on Peadar Heffron but the same mentality is at work. The Guardian story seemed to suggest that damage done by a controlled explosion on an empty van affected the cathedral itself but it was limited to the fine old deanery. The cathedral has suffered damage to stain glass windows and the destruction of the organ in the past. The nearby late Georgian courthouse was restored at the cost of well over a million after a semtex bomb did serious damage and wrecked our little street in the 1990s. Fortunately no one was hurt in this latest attack and wretched gesture will deplored throughout Derry, not least because the heritage in its entirety is being celebrated in the UK City of Culture competition.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London