Belfast Telegraph

Holy mackerel! Belfast's Ravenhill Road awash with fish as lorry sheds it load

Residents take opportunity to stock up as street flooded with hundreds of dead mackerel

By Cate McCurry

There's something fishy going on here.

East Belfast was awash with hundreds of mackerel after a lorry shed its load on the Ravenhill Road on Saturday night -prompting dozens of residents to stock up.

The nutritional fish was on the dinner menu for many homes close to the My Lady's Road junction last night, after opportunists took to the street armed with bin bags to snap up their free fish amid bizarre scenes.

A pungent odour lingered along the arterial route yesterday, despite environmental health officers from Belfast City Council clearing the road the night before.

Ravenhill Road resident Tommy Bardsley (61) grabbed 25 pieces of fish which he planned to eat.

"It turned into something like Ardglass fishing village and it still stinks," he said.

"I got 25 pieces and it's all fresh fish. I'll have some for dinner and freeze the rest. I want to see what it tastes like so I'll cook it in the oven and make it with baby boils. I know fish and can tell they were just off a boat."

Mr Bardsley estimated there were well over 2,000 fish lying across the road.

"They were about five-deep in the middle of the road," he added.

"All the cars were driving through it and it still stinks so the council will need to disinfect the road.

"There were thousands of mackerel, it would be worth some amount of money." The driver of the lorry did not stop at the scene and may not have realised what happened.

News of the incident soon spread on social media sites causing some eager residents, many dressed in their pyjamas, to grab a bargain fish.

Another resident, who heard of the fish spill on Facebook, sent her children out armed with plastic bags.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: "Yeah we saw it, the kids went out to it. There were loads of people about looking at the fish lying on the ground, so we grabbed a few. It's in the fridge so we'll probably have some later."

However, one resident expressed her disgust at the incident: "Loads of people were out with their beers and in their pyjamas and having a party. It's disgusting that they would lift fish off the street and eat it. You don't know what's been lying on that road."

A number of people made Biblical references to the incident, particularly as it happened outside the Karmel City Church, with one man reported as shouting: "Ask the Lord and he shall provide."

A police spokeswoman said: "It was reported to police at 9pm that a lorry shed part of its load on the Ravenhill Road. Police alerted environmental health that it needed to be cleared.

"Police have identified the lorry and its company but as it is a weekend we will have to wait until Monday before it reopens.

"The driver did not stop. It may have been the case that the driver was not aware of what happened."

There was minor traffic disruption while the fish was cleared.

It is believed that the lorry was forced into an abrupt stop which caused the spill. It is not known where the fish were caught, collected or where they were being delivered to when they made their unexpected appearance.

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