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Three on murder bid charge after assault at Royal Oak Bar in Carrick

By Victoria Leonard

Three men have been arrested over a vicious gang attack in a Carrickfergus bar that left a member of staff in hospital with serious head injuries.

Police said the male was "assaulted by a number of individuals" at the Royal Oak Bar on Green Street, beside the town's PSNI station, at around 9.40pm on Saturday.

A source said that a doorman was attacked with a fire extinguisher, and would have "potentially life-changing injuries" if he survives.

Police said that the victim was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment to major head injuries and was in a serious condition.

Two men, aged 36 and 52, were later arrested and were in police custody yesterday. A third man aged 50 was arrested in the Carrick area yesterday and was also taken into custody for questioning.

In a statement on social media the Royal Oak thanked customers for their concern for the injured staff member.

It stated: "He is currently in hospital recovering at the minute. Thank you to all who was (sic) in the bar last night for your help and patience."

East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson condemned the attack, which he described as "incredibly brutal".

"I have been speaking to people in Greenisland and Carrick and there is a great deal of shock at the brutality of it," he said.

"My thoughts are with the person who was injured and his family.

"We do sometimes see incidents happening in and around licensed premises late on Saturday night, but this was early in the evening while people were out having a drink.

"The irony of the attack taking place next door to the town's police station hasn't been lost."

East Antrim UUP MLA John Stewart added: "My thoughts are with the individual who was seriously assaulted and his family, and I hope he makes a speedy recovery.

"We don't hear about things like this happening very often in Carrick, this is the exception rather than the rule. It's out of the blue, and this is a very well-run, established premises."

The PSNI is asking anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has information, to contact detectives in Ballymena on 101, quoting reference number 1275 11/03/17.

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