Mother and baby are lucky to escape injury after youths set off fireworks near play park

Solitude Park, Banbridge.
Solitude Park, Banbridge.

A Banbridge woman has told how she and her 17-month-old baby were lucky to escape injury when they were nearly hit with fireworks while walking in Solitude Park.

The terrifying incident, which occurred at around 7:15pm on Wednesday, September 6, is being investigated by the police.

The woman, who wants to be identified only as “a regular park user”, told the Banbridge Leader: “We arrived at Solitude Park at around 7:15pm and saw a large group of teens giving abuse to a council girl who was trying to lock up the play park. They were very rude to her and using bad language.

“I continued on to walk around the park. I only got around the path a bit and it stared to rain very heavily so I turned to go back. I got to the fence of the play park and a firework shot past and banged, I don’t know what kind of fireworks they were but there were two of them. One of them almost hit my child’s buggy.

“I phoned 999 as I feared it could escalate and someone could be injured.”

The woman made her way to the bus stop near the play park where a large group of youths were gathered.

“There were about 15 of them (young people) standing there. I asked them who threw the firework because it almost hit my child and they said they didn’t have anything to do with it. There were a few smart remarks and then one by one they all left and then the police arrived.

“The police asked me what happened and they said the would drive around to look for them.”

The woman revealed that three of the teenagers, who she described as “lovely kids”, didn’t make off, but stayed and asked her if her baby son was okay.

Commenting on the “ongoing problem” of anti-social behaviour in the park, she added: “Their (the youths) behaviour is awful and the language they use in the play park while young kids are there is just not on. I posted the details about what happened on Facebook and its seems many parents are feeling the same way. Something definitely needs done about it.”

Police have confirmed that officers were called to the park on Wednesday evening in response to reports of anti-social behaviour and youths letting off fireworks.

“Police attended the scene and the youths quickly dispersed. Enquiries into this are ongoing,” a PSNI spokesman said.