Belfast Telegraph

Ballycastle riots nipped in the bud, says top policeman

A senior police officer has insisted rioting in Ballycastle on the weekend of the Auld Lammas Fair was a “one-off” occurrence.

Inspector Bryan Hume, sector commander for the Moyle district area, said known hooligans were the cause of the trouble in the early hours of Monday morning.

Two police officers were injured and 19 people arrested during the rioting, which lasted almost two hours.

The trouble broke out about 2am. A large crowd of people gathered in the Diamond area of the seaside town, shouting abuse and firing missiles at police.

Six officers were assaulted or hit by the missiles, leaving two with injuries, which were yesterday described as “not serious”.

Inspector Hume told the Belfast Telegraph the trouble was caused by youths known to the police, many of whom have previous convictions for disorderly behaviour and rioting.

“These youths decided to use the opportunity of a large crowd to cause trouble,” he said.

“Decisive action was taken. Riot helmets, but no shields, were brought in to deal with the youths very carefully, and those people who were involved in the disorder were dealt with.”

He said people hoping to make the trip up to the coastal town for the ancient fair should “absolutely not” be concerned about getting caught up in any disturbances.

“I would think the decisive action we took will mean no trouble over the rest of the fair,” he said.

“These people will realise we will not take any trouble, and that will nip it in the bud.”

Belfast Telegraph

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