Northern Ireland news

Seven arrests and large amount of alcohol seized over St Patrick's Day

Rubbish gathered in the Holyland area of south Belfast following St Patrick's Day. Picture by Hugh Russell

A TOTAL of seven people were arrested around Belfast city centre and the Holyland, including for assault on police, following the St Patrick's Day celebrations.

The day passed without the drunken rioting seen in the Holyland in the past.

However, the student heartland saw a large number of parties, with residents complaining of anti-social behaviour.

Police had warned students and other young people to stay away from the Holyland area during St Patrick's Day.

Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said today that police arrested seven people - most of whom had been drinking - between St Patrick's Day and the early hours of this morning.

"The arrests were for a range of public order offences such as disorderly behaviour and assault, including assaults on police," he said.

"There was also one Community Resolution Notice issued, one Penalty Notice for Disorder and three people reported to the Public Prosecution Service."

He said police seized a large amount of alcohol.

"While the majority of people celebrating in the city did so in a good-natured and respectful fashion unfortunately some did not heed our message to act and drink responsibly," he said.

"In fact, the majority of those arrested were under the influence of alcohol with a total of 1,600 units of alcohol seized at various locations over the course of the day.

"We will continue to work our colleagues from Belfast City Council, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, the Belfast Met, with additional resources dedicated to the Holyland during the coming days."

Mr Kirkpatrick said the Holyland was a residential area "not a party or nightlife destination".

"Once again, we have seen how overindulgence in alcohol has led some people to act in a way they would never do when sober," he said.

"This can lead to assaults, damage to property, annoyance to others and ultimately, arrest. This behaviour will not be tolerated."

A spokeswoman for Belfast City Council said its staff had worked with police on the ground to encourage people to "be considerate of their neighbours".

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