Thursday, May 13, 2021
HomeSt Patrick’s Day parties cleared from Belfast park

St Patrick’s Day parties cleared from Belfast park

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Crowds holding St Patrick’s Day parties at a Belfast park have been cleared from the area.

Police closed down Botanic Gardens in the south of the city after hundreds of young people had gathered on Wednesday.

Prior to the police intervention, there had been a party atmosphere with groups drinking, playing music and playing ball games.

There are currently tight restrictions on public gatherings in Northern Ireland under Covid-19 regulations.

PSNI assistant chief constable Alan Todd said officers took “operational action” at the location.

Officers present in the park formed a line and walked across it, funnelling those gathered towards the exits.

An announcement was made that the park was being closed to ensure adherence to coronavirus regulations.

Mr Todd said a number of people had been turned away from beauty spots but that the majority had heeded the public health messages.

The traditional St Patrick’s Day celebrations, including a large parade in Belfast city centre, have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Mr Todd previously warned that those caught breaking the rules against gathering in groups could expect to face stiff fines.

And he said people who had been fined before risked even tougher penalties.

Joining a patrol in Downpatrick, a town with historic links to St Patrick, PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne thanked the public, the vast majority of whom, he said, were adhering to the coronavirus restrictions.

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