Councillor William McCandless said “About 4 weeks ago I was contacted by representatives from the clergy and commercial property owners in Portrush ref. the cruising event. For the past 2 years there had been many reported incidents of ASB. Unfortunately it is always a minority who cause trouble and thereby get a bad name for events such as these.
Last year parishioners had been prevented from attending their services, many commercial properties suffered a decline in their income, damage was done to Landsdowne Green and the town was seriously congested with traffic. This year one of the organisers of the event had met with Council officers, PSNI and I to discuss the cruise and work with us to to help those attending the event have an enjoyable time whilst respecting that the residents of Portrush need are entitled to get on with their lives and that other tourists wish to come and enjoy their day.
I spent 5 hours today with Council officers and PSNI to view the operation. Those who misbehaved were dealt with promptly by the police and I would like to commend Inspector Magee PSNI and Mr. Aidan McPeake Env. Director of Council. Their police officers and Council team did a sterling job today, traffic was able to flow in the town, parishioners able to attend their services and the commercial life of the town to continue. Members of HMRC were on duty to conduct spot checks for use of illegal fuel. There will be a meeting in a few weeks time to review any issues which still may need to be resolved and lessons learned.”