Northern Ireland news

Councillor 'tried to reason with machete-wielding man' in Ardoyne

Images of a man carrying a machete were posted on social media

A north Belfast councillor has told how he tried to reason with a man wielding a machete during a 20-minute stand-off in Ardoyne.

Pictures of a man carrying the huge knife were posted on social media at the weekend.

Two women were injured during the incident on Saturday night, one receiving a leg wound which SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said narrowly missed a major artery.

It happened close to where a dance event was taking place as part of the Ardoyne and Marrowbone Community Festival.

Local people first reported hearing gunshots in the area.

Police said a man in his thirties received a leg injury in a gun attack in Ardoyne Avenue, which was not paramilitary linked.

The shooting was followed by reports that a man with a machete spent 20 minutes waving the knife at passers-by on nearby Ardoyne Road.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker

Mr McCusker said he tried to reason with the man but it was "a terrifying experience".

"There were almost 900 young people in the tent at the club event - we've been asked for several years to put on this type event to help showcase local DJs," he said.

"While the man with the machete was not at the event, the fact this happened on the periphery has caused problems for local residents with a heavy police presence in the area as a result."

The incident started just after 10.30pm on Saturday, in a street close to where hundreds of young people had gathered for the festival event.

"I was told about the gunshots by a member of the festival committee and went straight down to the area to see what could be done," said Mr McCusker.

"A man was waving this huge machete in the air, dragging it along the pavement with sparks flying from it. I've never seen anything like it, it was terrifying.

"On Sunday night we had almost 1,000 people attending The Fureys concert and all left with a smile on their face, I had been worried that people would be put off attending because of the trouble on Saturday but the community still came out to support us.

"It's a shame that a few people hell bent on violence took the attention away from what was up until that point a really positive community festival".

Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

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