Anti-social behaviour in town sinks to new low with deliberate fire

Alliance Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong has said ongoing anti-social behaviour in Portaferry has “sunk to a new low” after a deliberate fire was lit at the Exploris aquarium in the town.

The fire, which is being treated as suspicious by authorities, was set at the gates of the building just after 7pm yesterday (Saturday). Ms Armstrong, who said she was thankful none of the animals had been harmed, added it was the latest in a spate of anti-social incidents there.

“The people of Portaferry and the wider community fought hard to not only save Exploris but promote it as one of Northern Ireland’s premier tourist attractions. To see local young people determined to cause damage and destruction at this location brings the anti-social behaviour in Portaferry to a new low.

“I plead with parents to be aware of where their children are and I ask the young people themselves to wise up and stop this destruction before it is too late, and you end up with a criminal record. Thankfully none of the animals were harmed but if this fire had spread to the building itself, we could be talking today about serious consequences.

“I have spoken with the management of Exploris and will be meeting with the PSNI to discuss what can be done to prevent any repeat. I urge anyone with information to take it to the police. It is vital we put a stop to this now before it goes too far.”