Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Man arrested after car crashes into packed restaurant

Firefighters at the scene after a car crashed into the front of the Tullana On The Green restaurant in County Fermanagh
The Tullana On The Green restaurant in the village of Lisnarick
The Tullana On The Green restaurant in the village of Lisnarick

A 21-year-old man was arrested yesterday after a car being pursued by police crashed into a restaurant full of diners.

Officers said no-one was seriously injured when the Vauxhall Calibra car drove through the glass front of the restaurant shortly before 2.30pm in Co Fermanagh.

However, there were local reports that ambulances called to the Tullana On The Green restaurant in the village of Lisnarick, near Enniskillen, took two people to hospital.

Terrified diners reported witnessing the restaurant windows shatter as the vehicle rammed the front of the premises as about 50 people ate inside the building.

"I was sitting with my right-hand side to where the car came though the window," said diner Craig Woods.

"There was a massive bang and we saw the rafters coming down from the roof and a couple of posts that were holding up parts of the roof came down over one of the tables.

"The glass just completely shattered over everybody.

"We looked round and saw a car through the window. The car didn't actually hit anyone, thankfully."

Two men were said to have been seen leaving the car. Police confirmed a 21-year-old has been arrested and is helping officers with their inquiries.

Police said the car had failed to stop for officers in the Irvinestown Road area of Enniskillen at about 2pm.

A spokesman said: "Police followed the vehicle and the driver increased his speed and made off.

"A short time later police again observed the vehicle near Castlearchdale before it collided into restaurant premises in Lisnarick."

Police appealed to anyone who spotted the vehicle travelling from the Irvinestown Road area to Lisnarick, or anyone who witnessed the collision, to contact them.

Mr Woods told the BBC that the diners were in a state of shock after the incident.

Police later said they had also arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with the incident.

An Assembly member for the area, Tommy Gallagher of the SDLP, said it was only luck that had prevented a more serious tragedy.

"I am relieved that, according to reports, no-one has been seriously injured," he said.

"We will now have to wait for the full details of what happened to emerge from the police.

"No doubt it was a terrifying incident for those involved."

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