Sunday, May 19, 2024

ARRESTS MADE AFTER PLANNED PROTESTS

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A MAN was arrested after a ‘mob swarmed’ into the car park of a retirement home in Portaferry at the weekend.

Police arrested a 42 year-old man following what police described as a ‘planned protest’ outside Cumain House at Steel Dickson Gardens on Sunday evening.

A witness and resident of Cumain House, said the police arrived at around 8.30pm, with the ‘mob’ consisting of ‘mainly women and youths and a few men’ descending a short time later at 9pm.

The resident, in his 70s, described the incident as ‘very frightening’.

“It was absolutely horrendous; I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. Talk about ‘rent-a-mob’,” he said.

He said attempts were made by local representatives to keep the situation calm but said they ‘swarmed’ through the gate into the carpark.

“They had no concern for the residents here that night – it was extremely frightening. There’s an elderly woman who is bed-bound and she was absolutely terrified. It was like mob rule outside.”

Police confirmed one man was arrested at the scene for breach of bail and was released on bail to appear in court at a later date.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said the protest ‘passed off without significant incident’ and confirmed that they had been notified about the event prior to it taking place, by community representatives, whose identity has not been confirmed.

Police were unable to confirm whether the man arrested came from within the protestors or from inside the building where the group had gathered.

Ark Housing which runs Cumain House was asked to comment but none was provided by the time of going to Press. 

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