Destruction was caused by ‘mindless louts’

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An outbreak of vandalism in the centre of Portglenone has been blamed on the actions of ‘mindless louts’ fuelled on drink.

Damage was caused to a items of street furniture during the incident which is being highlighted by DUP dup David McILveen (MLA) and Cllr. Billy Henry.

Mr. McIlveen said the usually quiet village was upset by a number of drunk individuals.

“Street furniture including a safety bollard was completely uprooted, proving the level of intent on damage that those involved were prepared to go to. This was a weekend of celebration in Northern Ireland with successes in both football and rugby.

“However we saw events in Portglenone in the early hours of Sunday morning which displayed a clear ‘drink in wits out’ approach. For many years the centre of the town had a Friday to Sunday problem of late night, intoxicated revellers.

“Recently due to good relationships between the community, law enforcement and the bars themselves this has been brought well under control. We cannot see a return to the bad old days in this regard and I would appeal to the local bars to ensure that their patrons when leaving, they do so in a respectful manner.

“It is not our job as community representatives to tell people what constitutes a good night out, however we do have a responsibility to ensure that those who seek to exercise irresponsible behaviour are challenged and told to show some respect to both the area they are in and the people who live around it. I have contacted both PSNI and Roads Service about the matter and much need resource that could be used to deliver positive outcomes for the area will now have to be diverted in picking up the cost of these mindless actions.”

Also commenting on the issue DUP Councillor Billy Henry said: “I am saddened to learn of the damage that was needlessly caused over the weekend. The attractive open space in Portglenone has been invaluable for events such as The Big Splash and The Gig ‘n The Bann. For mindless louts, full of alcohol to think that it acceptable to tear street furniture from the ground angers me and I know angers all right thinking people in the area. I will be urging the PSNI to review all of the CCTV footage and seek to bring those responsible before the courts.

Resident and Community Worker Mr Norman Worthington said: “This mindless vandalism has no place in our village. We work across all communities to bring a sense of pride and to make our village a great place to live and work. I hope that those who were responsible, regardless of motive will realise the error of their ways.”