Man stabbed and five arrested as mobs rampage

31/08/2004 - 09:09:42

A man was stabbed and five people were arrested after mobs went on the rampage in a second night of trouble in a Northern Ireland town.

A youth was arrested for assault after the man was stabbed in the Fairhill Street area of Ballycastle, Co Antrim.

The victim was treated in hospital but his injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

The juvenile was later released on bail, pending further inquiries.

At around 2am today, four people were arrested for public order offences after disturbances in the North Street area of the town.

When police arrived they were pelted with bottles and other missiles.

The latest trouble followed disturbances on the eve of the annual Auld Lammas Fair, which attracts thousands of people to Ballycastle.

At around 2am on Monday a mob of about 50 people attacked police officers in the North Street area.

Officers used CS Spray to defend themselves while under attack from bottles and other missiles.

Two men were charged with assaulting police, disorderly behaviour and resisting arrest. One of them was also charged with obstruction and having a Class C drug.

North Antrim DUP representative Ian Paisley Jr said the trouble appeared to be fuelled by alcohol.

“I am very concerned that there is a deliberate flouting of the drinking in public places by-laws which has permitted an attitude of ’when the drink’s in, the wit’s out’,” he said.

“Clearly the local community must ensure that they insist that people behave and don’t see the police as people to attack in this way.”

SDLP Moyle councillor Michael Molloy said that while he did not believe the incidents were sectarian, they could be designed to provoke conflict.

“I’m concerned that some of this may be organised, that these groups are getting together to cause problems for the local community and the police," he said.

“I hope that the police presence will deter and make people desist from this type of action.”

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