Pair arrested and two injured in Cloughreagh melee

June 9, 2009

Two men have been arrested following a disturbance in the Cloughreagh Park area of Bessbrook on Friday night that left two teenagers requiring hospital treatment.

Police were called to the area shortly before 10.30pm to deal with a fracas on the street involving a number of people.  A bottle and a dog chain were used in an assault on the teenagers, one of whom suffered a head injury requiring 11 staples.

During the trouble, a man was seen in possession of what appeared to be a handgun. 

Police later arrested a 27-year-old man and recovered a pellet gun.  He is to appear before Newry Magistrates Court today (Monday) charged with a number of firearms offences.  A PSNI spokesperson said an 18-year-old man has also been arrested in connection with the incident.

Fews area Sinn Fein Councillor, Pat McGinn, says the community is deeply concerned at the incident. 

Mr McGinn, who lives close to the estate, said that while details of the incident remain unclear, there is a growing concern throughout the area about serious anti-social activities.

“I am unaware of the full circumstances of this issue and I would appeal for anyone with information regarding it to contact police immediately,” he said.  “On a broader issue, there has been rising concern by communities in this locality in relation to serious anti-social behaviour involving attacks on properties, public drinking and late night incidents that go along with such activities.

 “The vast majority of people who live in this locality are civil people who are disgusted by this incident and the recent goings on.  I, like them, am proud of this area and we are appealing for calm.  Society in general needs to challenge the culture of anti-social behaviour and violence, which is all too regular,” he said.

In the wake of this incident, the councillor says he is now expecting police patrols to be stepped up throughout the area.

“People want to feel safe and secure in their homes and the police have a huge role in delivering that requirement to communities.  However, we all have a responsibility in ensuring that community safety and wellbeing is a priority.  This area needs support with both resources and facilities and most agencies, including our Council, has failed in delivering them.”