Belfast Telegraph

Mob on rampage in Carrickfergus as police advise public to avoid area

Police warned people to avoid parts of Carrickfergus on Thursday night as a mob went on the rampage.

Bins were set on fire in the Co Antrim town and used to block a street from 9pm, while a car was hijacked and set on fire at Sunnylands in the Woodburn estate.

A PSNI spokesman said: “Due to ongoing public disturbances in the Woodburn Avenue and Hollies areas of Carrickfergus, police are advising motorists and members of the public to avoid the area.”

The DUP’s David Hilditch said street lighting had been turned off. “It’s a very obvious opportunity to try and bring police in to the area,” he said.

He said that while police were in the area on a main road, they had not entered the estate.

Earlier, some shops closed early and residents moved their cars from affected areas as the threat of violence escalated, while police helicopters hovered overhead.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson told the Belfast Telegraph: “I would appeal for calm — incidents like this cause a great deal of fear in communities and just anybody with any information should pass it to the police.”

The trouble follows violence in Larne on March 30 when a mob of up to 100, many wielding baseball bats and sledgehammers, descended on the town and destroyed three properties.

Police blamed the south east Antrim UDA for the attack and made several arrests.

The seventh person detained was arrested in Carrickfergus yesterday and taken to Antrim for questioning.

The 48-year-old man was later released unconditionally.

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