OUTRAGE AT VIOLENCE

The scene of Sunday night's trouble at Bells Court. INLM3112-834con
The scene of Sunday night's trouble at Bells Court. INLM3112-834con

OUTRAGE followed a running battle between feuding members of the Travelling community as innocent members of the public became caught up in the violent onslaught.

Tensions are running high after at least three members of the Travelling community were hospitalised on Sunday night.

One home owner at Bell’s Row Court had their property rammed several times by a car which appeared to be trying to escape after being cornered in a cul-de-sac.

It is understood substantial damage was caused to the property which was empty at the time as the tenant had been away.

SDLP Councillor Joe Nelson, who had visited the owner of the property, said: “I would like to utterly condemn the violence that took place in the town over the weekend which ended up with a car being rammed several times into a house in Bells Row Court.

“This appears to have been part of an ongoing feud between members of the travelling community. Councillor Declan McAlinden and myself visited the house at the request the owner to look at the damage.

“The owner is not a member of the Travelling Community and was in no way involved in the incident.

“It would appear that the car in question was cornered in the cul-de-sac and, in an attempt to escape, rammed the house and the side fencing.

“The damage to the property is substantial and the owner is awaiting a visit from insurance assessors and structural engineers.

“There are unconfirmed reports of several arrests and several people being hospitalised. Tensions were running high while we were in the area as it seemed the Travelling community in Bells Row Court were expecting further trouble.

“I would appeal to the PSNI to bring to justice those responsible for this wanton violence and to deploy whatever resources are necessary to ensure that the violence that occurred on Sunday night is not repeated.

Mayor of Craigavon Borough Council, Cllr Carla Lockhart, said: “My understanding of the situation at this time is that there was a fallout/dispute amongst a number of families. The PSNI dealt with the matter swiftly and were able to assist in restoring order.

“Injuries were unfortunately sustained by three individuals and we trust that they will have a speedy recovery. I would encourage anyone with any information to come forward to the PSNI and report it.

“It is vitally important that those involved in these disturbances are dealt with by the law. The sound of gunshots was heard and this was extremely disturbing for residents living in the area, and could have caused loss of life. I would utterly condemn this type of behaviour, there is no place for this in our Borough”.

Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson said: “All acts of violence are to be deplored and condemned as they put innocent lives in danger. These incidents are reflecting Lurgan, and the people of Lurgan in totally the wrong light.

“So many people are working hard every day to promote Lurgan and all the benefits of living and working in the town.

“We need to be looking towards the future, towards investment and job creation and acts of violence such as these incidents only seek to drive people away from the area.”