Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Success of Halloween Festival a reflection of ‘community spirit’

Sinn Fein Councillor Terry Hearty has offered his congratulations to everyone involved in organizing the fun-packed day of Halloween festivities in Crossmaglen on Tuesday last and paid tribute to local “community spirit” that made it such a success.

“There was a vast array of activities for all age groups and the Square was thronged with people from mid-day. This all culminated in a brilliant fireworks display in the council football field watched by hundreds of children and their parents from the safety of Cross Rangers stand. After this it was back to the Square led by the Pipe Band and music with The Timekeepers,” Councillor Hearty explained.

“My warmest thanks and praise for the great amount of time and effort put into these events by the organising Halloween Committee, Crossmaglen Community Association and South Armagh Safety Group.  It is a tribute to the community spirit of South Armagh that these events are so successful.”

Commenting on the incidents of anti-social behaviour that occurred on the night, Councillor Hearty added: “It would, however, be remiss of me not to mention the unnecessary and intolerable anti-social activities of the few young people and some not so young people, who drifted from area to area, but particularly Ardross, intimidating and terrorising residents, setting off fireworks at houses and causing damage, both to buildings and vehicles. 

“On more than one occasion, the stewards, whose task is to maintain the safety of those participating in festival events, risked their own safety by confronting these people. The Fire Brigade came under a barrage of fireworks as they went about their business and I sincerely hope this does not affect the great working relationship we have always had with the Service.

Calling on parents to take responsibility for their children, the councillor also appealed to police “to at least attempt to put a stop to the roving cars [and passengers] throwing fireworks out their windows as they drive around”.

Concluding on a brighter note, Councillor Hearty said: “Despite the bad behaviour of the few, it is important to remember that Halloween is a time of festival and fun and we should not be distracted from this. I am sure the Halloween Committee is already planning next year’s events and I know the Community Association is already getting ready for the Christmas Lights switch-on and the annual visit of Santa Claus.”