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Now and then: Northern Ireland Easter weekend unlike any other

Silent beaches, empty resorts a far cry from hectic bustle of previous years

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The empty main street in Portrush town centre during Easter weekend

The empty main street in Portrush town centre during Easter weekend

Photopress

A quiet Seapark in Holywood

A quiet Seapark in Holywood

The empty promenade in Portstewart

The empty promenade in Portstewart

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Whiterocks beach near Portrush during Easter weekend

Whiterocks beach near Portrush during Easter weekend

Happier times: children enjoying their Easter eggs in the sunshine in 1981 Dungannon

Happier times: children enjoying their Easter eggs in the sunshine in 1981 Dungannon

The empty main street in Portrush town centre during Easter weekend

It was an Easter holiday like no other witnessed in Northern Ireland.

Traditionally a time when families head out on day trips to enjoy the first warmth of spring - but this year the beaches were empty and the roads relatively free of Bank Holiday traffic.

Pictures showing the popular spots, that are usually heaving with visitors over the years - when compared side by side to this weekend - were like ghost towns.

But it was to save lives, and the public's efforts were welcomed by PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd who said up to 90% of people had complied with the restrictions in place to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. It was particularly pleasing during a weekend full of sunshine which would normally have seen families head to the seaside or country parks in their thousands.

Along the north coast, road checks from the PSNI were well publicised in advance, warning anyone tempted to escape the house that only essential journeys would be tolerated.

It was a similar story in popular North Down destinations like Bangor, where roads were deserted and shops closed as the public chose to listen to repeated pleas to stay at home.

Easter Monday festivals cancelled, Easter Egg hunts called off, our coastlines remained eerily quiet with appeals from those who live there for people to stay away, for this year at least, heeded by the majority in the country.

Belfast Telegraph