‘Youths at risk of getting sucked into water pumping station at Lough Neagh’ says SDLP

Youths are at risk of getting sucked into the pumping stations which recycle water for human consumption at Lough Neagh, says the SDLP.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 4:16 pm

During a recent spike in anti-social behaviour on the shores of Lough Neagh, youths were spotted jumping off the NI Water inlet screens at the lough shore.

Some youths have also set fire to grass verges on the Castor Bay Road, Lurgan, a road to the shore, and which spans the M1 motorway.

Earlier this week the NI Fire and Rescue Service were called to put out the blaze, said SDLP Cllr Ciaran Toman.

SDLP Cllr Ciaran Toman at the burnt verges on the Castor Bay Road, Lurgan.
SDLP Cllr Ciaran Toman at the burnt verges on the Castor Bay Road, Lurgan.

Cllr Toman said residents have complained of a rise in drug taking and anti-social behaviour on the lough shores.

After meeting with the residents alongside SDLP colleague Cllr Declan McAlinden, Cllr Toman voiced concern of the growing problem of anti-social behaviour.

He said it is linked to drug taking, underage drinking and has led to wider issues in the area such as arson attacks.

He said: “Transitional youth is a growing problem with young people arranging to meet via social media at various locations throughout the borough which has seen greater numbers of youths being attracted the shores of Lough Neagh just off the Castor Bay Road.

Burnt verges on the Castor Bay Road, Lurgan.

“First and foremost, residents certainly are not against youths or, in fact, anybody from the community enjoying the great spaces we have at the Lough shore. But when this has an impact on residential amenities, on their livelihoods and when residents are met with hostility from these individuals, then statutory agencies must step up and protect these residents.

“I have been informed that residents have seen youths jumping off the NI Water inlet screens. This is putting themselves at risk of being sucked into the pumping station that recycles water for human consumption.

“This week in our borough, we have already had a death where a young individual fell into the water in Scarva, we certainly do not need another death of similar circumstances.”

Cllr Toman added: “Earlier this week, a fire was started on the Castor Bay Road and the fire brigade had to be called to distinguish the blaze.

“This is very close to the motorway bridge and could have had a devastating impact on livestock in the area.

“I want to thank the emergency services which were quickly on scene, but it raises doubt on how this fire was started in the first place.

“I have contacted the police and the PCSP for more co-operation and effort on prevention as opposed to continually responding to incidents as they occur.

“Identifying young people in the community who are responsible for this anti-social behaviour at the present time is essential to tackling it so that we can all feel safe and welcomed at all our local beauty spots.”

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‘Harrowing’ tragedy as boy (13) dies in Scarva swimming incident Read full story here

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