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'UFO police chase' a shock for shoppers

Published 04/08/2016

Shoppers in a Co Wexford market town had a close encounter of sorts when a "flying saucer" touched down last Friday.

The 10ft (3m) alien craft toured the Main Street of Gorey with a Garda escort as its designer tried to drum up interest in a local youth and arts festival.

Mature student Ali Kemal Ali, originally from Islington, north London, roped in the police for a low-speed blue-light chase through the town as he treated locals to the bizarre sight of his extraterrestrial craft.

"I thought how can I attract a bit more interest, so I thought I'll go and ask the guards," the 53-year-old said.

"I asked can they give me a police escort with my UFO. They loved it. They were brilliant.

"How often do you go into a police station and ask for something like this - it's always doom and gloom. They saw the funny side of it."

Mr Ali built the craft as part of a project for his visual arts course at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire and was then asked to make it the centrepiece of the Third Space Pop Art Show in Gorey last weekend.

The outdoor exhibition in the town was part of the Gorey Youth Needs Group community project for teenagers.

The fibreglass flying saucer offers the pilot panoramic views. It runs on two electric scooters and is complete with a strobe light, laser, smoke machine and a sub woofer to pulse out a noise which mimics the engine on an alien landing craft.

Mr Ali said: "When you come up beside it, it feels like it's alive."

The video of the artist touring Gorey under a Garda escort has reached almost one million views on social media.

The craft is now preparing for its next mission - an appearance at the Electric Picnic music and arts festival where it will be centre-stage at a pop-up woodland rave.

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