Anger at Cookstown’s Monday night ‘student invasion’ after gardens used as loos

Drinks abandoned at entrance to residential property in Cookstown
Drinks abandoned at entrance to residential property in Cookstown

Loy Street residents are at their ‘wit’s end’ with the noisy Monday night ‘student invasion’ that sees the area littered with empty alcohol bottles and gardens used as toilets.

Buses have been using the street as a drop-off and pick-up point for hundreds attending a student night at a nearby nightclub during the summer period.

Wine bottles and cans dumped in front of homes on Loy Street

Wine bottles and cans dumped in front of homes on Loy Street

When revellers get off the buses around 10pm, they can be seen discarding empty alcohol cans, cups and bottles on the streets and at nearby properties.

One landlord has been forced to have a HD security camera installed in the lane behind property he leases “to try to identify the late evening trespassers and troublemakers” repeatedly wakening tenants as they used the back garden and driveway as a bathroom.

At the end of his tether, another resident - who wishes to remain anonymous - called police, but said nothing happened.

“I phoned 101 to tell police and the operator said they already had a complaint from Loy Street and would pass it on to police but nothing happened,” he said.

Buses drop off and pick up Monday night revellers on Cookstown's Loy Street

Buses drop off and pick up Monday night revellers on Cookstown's Loy Street

“They [the buses] are driving on to the pavement, parked beside double yellows and less than 10 meters from a junction - no one seems to want to do anything.”

Inspector Daniel Walsh said: “Police are aware of concerns surrounding parking of buses and coaches in the James Street, Loy Street and Fairhill areas of Cookstown during night time hours.

“Police, with the co-operation of Mid Ulster Council, have identified a temporary bus park in the town centre and bus operators will be encouraged to utilise this for the dropping off and lifting of their passengers, with a view to helping to alleviating the situation.”

But, the only change after this statement was that buses had moved a few hundreds yards further down the street.

A spokesperson for Mid Ulster council said: “The Council is working closely with the PSNI to support them in dealing with the anti-social behaviour issues in Loy Street.”