Teenager bailed following Rathfriland band parade incident

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By PA news

A 16-year-old has been released on police bail in relation to an incident at a band parade in Co Down.

The teenager was arrested by police after two men suffered minor injuries when a car was driven through a band parade in Rathfriland.

The teenage boy was arrested over a number of alleged driving offences and suspected common assault.

Police said they were not investigating a sectarian crime.

It emerged that a black Seat Leon failed to stop for officers and drove into the parade in the Newry Street area.

The incident was reported to police at around 8.40pm on Friday.

Video of the incident shows the car driving towards the group before it mounts the footpath.

People can be heard shouting at the car to stop but it left the area at speed.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon district chief inspector Barney O’Connor said: “A black Seat Leon failed to stop, a number of times, for police who were on duty in connection with a band parade in Rathfriland.

“This vehicle then drove into the parade as it made its way up Newry Street.

“One man aged in his 40s and one man aged in his 30s received minor injuries following the incident.

“The male has been arrested on suspicion of six counts of dangerous driving, six counts for failing to stop for police, aggravated taking and driving away, disqualified driving, no insurance and three counts of failing to stop and report and remain at an injury road traffic collision.

“He was also arrested on suspicion of two counts of common assault and other related offences.

“He remains in police custody at this time.

“Our officers are continuing to robustly investigate the circumstances of this incident.

“Officers have already spoken to a number of those present and I know this has been alarming for all those involved.

“I would like to thank those in the community and those involved from the band, who have already come forward, for their cooperation and assistance.”

Ulster Unionist councillor Jill Macauley said she was left “disgusted” by the incident.

“It was absolutely shocking, someone could have been killed,” she added.

“I sincerely hope that the mindless thug who drove that car deliberately and recklessly through Star of Down Maghera Flute Band and Downshire Guiding Star Flute Band, and the rest of Rathfriland, will feel the full force of the law.

“There were children as young as five on parade with the local bands that were affected and that’s what makes it all the more harrowing.

“The thug responsible should be ashamed of himself.”

The scene of Friday evening's incident in Rathfriland

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