A NUMBER of empty shotgun cartridges caused a security alert in Magherafelt at the weekend.
A police helicopher was called in after the cartridges were found in a bin at Union Road outside Bryson’s Bar and Restaurant.
The four rounds were apparently dumped by an unthinking member of a local gun club, who left two pheasants and a partridge in the pub as a seasonal gesture before leaving the premises.
It is understood a member of the public came across the cartridges and alerted the police.
With the helicopher - costing an estimated £1,700 per hour - hovering above the police had wanted to evacuate the premises which was full of Christmas revellers.
However, the gun club members eventually returned to the scene and identified the cartridges bringing the alert to an end.
A PSNI spokesperson said a police patrol noted a suspicious object in a bin at Union Road shortly before midnight on Saturday.
“Enquiries were carried out and the object found to be nothing untoward. The scene was clear at 1am,” said the spokesperson.