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Man (18) arrested following mass brawl involving 70 young people at Portrush train station


Portrush train station

Portrush train station

Portrush train station

An 18-year-old man has been arrested following a mass brawl involving around 70 young people in Portrush train station on Wednesday.

Police said the incident happened at around 8.40pm, with Eglinton Street in the seaside town closed while the PSNI removed the young people from the station.

The SDLP MLA Cara Hunter said large groups of young people engaging in anti-social behaviour in the area needs to stop and warned someone could get “seriously hurt”.

“While it’s great to see so many of our young people out enjoying the good weather after being stuck inside for so long during the coronavirus pandemic, the scenes on Wednesday night were deplorable,” she said.

“Unfortunately, when large crowds of young people gather in popular beauty spots like Portrush there is often a small minority who cause trouble.

“This is the latest in a string of incidents in Portrush and while I know the vast majority conduct themselves in a mature and sensible way, incidents like this cannot simply be allowed to pass.

“The incident on Wednesday night caused significant disruption, the train station was closed for a period and police had to remove scores of young people from the area. They later had to be accommodated at Portrush Town Hall before being taken home, with one arrest made.

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“This would have been a frightening experience for Translink staff who are already dealing with difficult circumstances during the pandemic, it would also have been scary for other passengers caught up in the fighting. My thoughts are also with the police who were attacked in the line of duty.

“It is great to see large crowds in Portrush, they bring life into the area and an economic boost after a difficult period for many businesses, but incidents like this simply have to stop before someone is seriously hurt or worse.

“Given the recent number of incidents I will be contacting police to ensure that there are adequate patrols in the area to discourage repeats of scenes like this and allow the public to visit the area with peace of mind.”

The most recent incident of anti-social behaviour comes in the wake of other incidents in the area in recent months, including the assault of four teenage boys by a gang of up to 50 youths on Portrush’s East Strand back in May.

In a statement, a PSNI spokesperson said: “Eglinton Street was closed for some time as police assisted Translink staff in removing up to 70 young people from a train after reports of significant disruption.

“Portrush Town Hall was later opened to facilitate the young people while arrangements were made, along with partner agencies, for parents and guardians to collect them safely.

“An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour and assault on police as a result of the incident and he remains in custody at this time.”

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