Local youths ‘pumped up’ on a lethal cocktail of illegal drugs and alcohol set fire to £30,000 worth of fishing equipment in the harbor area of Ardglass, close to an oil storage facility on Sunday night.
Councillor Enright said: ‘This act of wanton destruction had potential to spread and only the sheer hard work of the local firefighters who raced out from Downpatrick did we avert disaster on a large scale’.
‘The proximity of the fish boxes, which were being stored by a local fisherman, to the oil facility posed a real threat to life and property. I suspect considerable pollution entered the harbor from the hundreds of melting fish boxes dripping over the harbor edge’, he added.
Councillor Enright also expressed sadness at the environmental impact of such a large fire.
‘The lorries and boxes set on fire dispersed into the water and this coupled with thick, acrid smoke meant Ardglass was exposed to a significant environmental threat at the weekend’, he said.
Councillor Enright has also expressed dismay with the continuing anti social behavior problem in Ardglass.
‘There were reports on Sunday night of the local youths involved in this fire taunting the PSNI at the scene. Action needs to be taken to stop any such incident occurring again. The fishing trade is in hard enough times without vandalism adding to costs incurred’, Councillor Enright added.
Councillor Enright expressed hope that the Ardglass Village Committee is re-started and that the policing partnership examines the issues involved, especially the source of drugs and drinks being purchased by what is a small group of young people. This is causing distress to the vast majority of law abiding residents, young and old in what is an idyllic Irish fishing village’