Watch: Brawls, falls and crashes on Cookstown’s ‘Black Eye Friday’

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Despite a quiet start to the night it soon became evident on the streets of Cookstown why ‘Black Eye Friday’ has earned its name.

Along with Cookstown Street Angels, this reporter walked through town picking up discarded drinks and glass bottles to prevent those too drunk to stay up straight, causing themselves injury.

Cookstown Street Angels tend to a man knocked down by a punch

Cookstown Street Angels tend to a man knocked down by a punch

Many pubs in town appeared quiet for the occasion, but some were bursting at the seams with what appeared to be a never ending stream of men, and not so many women.

The level of testosterone on show was almost palpable in the air as pub after club closed its doors for the night and groups of men spilled out on to the street.

Some were turfed out too soon for their liking, inciting a barrage of shouted swears, kicks and bangs on the door - to which a bouncer answered with a shove.

A move that almost led to a mini riot under the watchful glare of a police spotlight.

The team of Angels out on Black Eye Friday

The team of Angels out on Black Eye Friday

Through it all, the Street Angels were on hand to help those in need of care - an offer of shelter under an umbrella in the pouring rain kept one man - much worse for wear - dry as he waited for his lift.

Another man’s treatment of his girlfriend left one Angel shocked, after he pulled her hair and said ‘what the f*** do you think you’re doing in there you t***p’ while she too sheltered from the rain. But there was nothing they could do.

Row after row ensued.

One man, the victim of a punch to the back of the head, was left needing an ambulance, bleeding from the nose and ill, while elsewhere clothes were torn in scuffles as men locked horns.

Punches were thrown, clothes were torn, this reporter even witnessed one young woman take on a man, then slap her female friend across the face before the pair disappeared in a taxi.

But with at least 14 police officers on patrol, the night wasn’t allowed to get too out of control.

Flaring situations were soon brought under control, and as the town quieted, all that remained was the mess.

Police patrolling the streets made one arrest during the night, but spent much of their time keeping the peace between groups of men who appeared only too eager to brawl.

Police patrolling the streets made one arrest during the night, but spent much of their time keeping the peace between groups of men who appeared only too eager to brawl.

One man was arrested for driving with excess alcohol after a two vehicle RTC in town shortly before midnight.