Belfast Castle illegal rave stopped by police

Around 300 people gathered at the event close to Belfast Castle, said police
Around 300 people gathered at the event close to Belfast Castle, said police

An “illegal rave type event” was stopped by the PSNI at the weekend and 300 party-goers were asked to leave the grounds of Cavehill Country Park.

The event had been taking place in the vicinity of Belfast Castle, and police later reported that a number were so drunk they could not look after themselves.

Warnings about it were issued by the police, but one unionist politician has questioned why tougher action was not taken, and called for parents of those in attendence to be prosecuted.

On Saturday evening the PSNI in north Belfast said on their Facebook page that “young people are getting dropped off in the area so please ensure that you double check what you are being told about their plans and movements”.

It added: “This activity is illegal and is causing great distress to residents, and police are in attendance to deal with the problem.

“Young people stay away from this area to stay out of trouble, pass the word on.”

Later, a post said there were “a number of heavily intoxicated young males and females in the area who are not fit to look after themselves and the obvious implications of not knowing where they are and how to get home”.

The next post said that “about 300 young people escorted from park by NPT (Neighbourhood Policing Team) and Tactical Support Group”.

Another post revealed that a number of those attending were taken home by the PSNI “for their own safety due to intoxication”.

A PSNI spokesman later told the News Letter that a number of party-goers were “spoken to” by the PSNI, but there were no arrests.

Time was called on the illegal gathering around 10pm.

UUP councillor David Browne said he “would like to think the police have done more than keep people informed on Facebook”.

“If there was illegal activity you would like to think they would have arrested a couple of people,” he said.

He added: “I am one of the people who believe people should be responsible for their children and if you cannot prosecute the child then you prosecute the parents because they should know where they are. But definitely there should be a measure put in place that this cannot happen again.”

He said if there was no outcome from the illegal event “then that sets the marker down for them to say: ‘where are we going next week?’”.