Belfast Telegraph

Seaside resorts residents' fury as drunken teens cause mayhem in Bangor, Portrush and Newcastle

Bangor, Portrush and Newcastle turned into ‘zombie’ towns due to underage drinkers

By Deborah McAleese

Northern Ireland seaside resorts were turned into scenes from a "zombie movie" as hundreds of drunken teenagers rampaged through the streets during the Easter holidays.

Several binge-drinking teens had to be taken to hospital by ambulance after they collapsed in the streets during a number of day-time family events.

Several hundred bottles of alcohol were seized by police from youths as young as 13 who were spotted openly drinking in public places from early morning.

In Bangor one resident said the town resembled "a zombie takeover" and that the seafront was like a "film set for a doomsday apocalypse".

A woman in Portrush claimed crowds of youths, some not much older than 12, were "drunk and abusive" and a number were wearing "blood-stained clothes".

And in Newcastle police made three drug seizures along the busy promenade which was packed with young families and holidaymakers.

One of the most criticised spots was Bangor, where a fun parade on Monday became a "nightmare" experience for families, according to several visitors and residents.

Police in the town said that seven juveniles "required medical assistance including ambulance attendance" and that officers seized over 100 bottles of alcohol. Three people were arrested for disorderly behaviour and one for assault on police.

A steward at the parade said young children in the carnival, some as young as six, were "confused and frightened" by the "crowds of drunken teenagers".

Another woman took to the PSNI's Facebook page to describe how she had to call an ambulance for a 14-year-old girl at 1pm.

"She was in a bad way, drunk and unconscious, then she vomited everywhere including on my coat," she said.

One man said the town "resembled what I'd imagine a zombie takeover would look like". He added: "I couldn't wait to get out of the place. I remember when Bangor was the place to be at Easter. What a mess the town looks. That seafront is like a film set for a doomsday apocalypse."

Austen Lennon, who has lived in Bangor for more than two decades, said that the trouble on Easter Monday was the worst he has ever seen in the town.

"People have been describing it as a scene from a zombie film. There were young people vomiting and falling everywhere. I have lived in the town from 1991 and have never seen it in the day time as bad as this," the former North Down councillor said.

He added: "There are a lot of people who visited Bangor on Monday who have said they will never return because of how bad it was. The council need to rethink how they promote Bangor. The day trip tourism is just bringing these problems to the town."

The PSNI's Facebook was inundated with messages from visitors to the town who described their day out as a "dreadful experience" and vowed never to return.

One man who works in the area described seeing "at least 1,000 drunken children, lying vomiting, smashing bottles, swearing."

A lot of the reported trouble was blamed on crowds of "outsiders".

One young mother at Belfast Central Station said that she had to "fight" her way through "the crowds of drunk, fighting young teens that had just got off the train from Bangor on there way home from this family day".

"It was disgusting that I had to push my 21-month-old toddler in a buggy through people collapsing, bleeding, being sick," she said.

Police in Portrush said that they also seized alcohol in the packed seaside town on Monday and that a number of youths had to be transported to hospital.

Posting on Facebook, Inspector Ian Magee said: "Police are very concerned at the number of youths found so intoxicated they have had to be taken by ambulance for treatment".

One woman responded that while she was in the town "drunk and abusive kids" were everywhere and some had blood-stained clothes.

"My question to you as parents 'where was your child yesterday?' It would scare the life out of me if one of mine had been there," she said.

Causeway Coast and Glens independent councillor David Harding said he was surprised to hear of the trouble. "Portrush isn't like what is being described. We would have had some problems previously but not now. I am very surprised by that. Portrush is a good town," he said.

In Newcastle police said they made three separate drugs detections along the promenade while out on patrol on Monday.

Belfast Telegraph


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