CLAREMORRIS No Name Club members found themselves at the centre of a major security scare during their four day visit to England last week. Their trip to Stoke-on-Trent coincided with the serious outbreak of rioting in London, Manchester and a number of other cities in the UK.
The 40 strong group, accompanied by their leaders Con Nolan, Aine McGrath, Ann Whittle, Peter Gannon and David Connor, took in a number of visits during their stay, including the Alton Towers Theme Park and other places.
They visited Old Trafford on Tuesday as well as the Trafford Centre and a bowling alley in Stoke. As they walked home from the bowling alley to their hotel, they decided to drop by to the local Tesco Shopping Centre. Such was the hysteria around the country that panic set in when people saw a group of 40 young people arrive en masse at Tesco. The big silver shutters on the shops were immediately pulled down and the place moved into “shut down” mode.
Local police arrived on the scene but, after chatting with Con Nolan (an ex-garda himself) and others leaders, they quickly realised there fears were completely unfounded was there no reason at all to panic. Indeed, the staff and management at the centre had plenty to smile about when they found out that here were a fine group of young Irish people visiting their city and pleasantries were exchanged all around.
“I suppose when they saw a group of around forty coming into the car park, they assumed the worst for a few minutes, such was the focus on rioting that had gripped the country in those few days. There were people staring out the windows at us as the security alert was put in place. Shoppers inside could not get out for a few minutes. But Con Nolan sorted it all out quickly with the security guards. We could see the funny side of it anyway!” said a member of the group.