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Priest criticises Halloween chaos 02.11.07

AN INISHOWEN priest has expressed concerns about the way the North West celebrates Halloween after the biggest festival in the region resulted multiple A&E admissions and arrests.
Fr. Michael Canny, spokesperson for Bishop Seamus Hegarty, said he had serious fears about the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival in Derry, after a man was stabbed, 30 people were arrested and 60 were admitted to the local hospital for treatment. Derry City Council yesterday ordered a review of the event.
"Everything's great up until about 9pm but from then through to the early hours of the morning, the behaviour is totally unacceptable," said Clonmany-born Fr. Canny.
"We are living in a culture where people don't seem to be able to celebrate unless they 
The fireworks display during the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival in Derry.
have alcohol. Then we bring them on to the streets, dressed up and in the dark. It's a recipe for disaster."
Fr. Canny, however, had high praise for the family-friendly elements of the five-day carnvial.
"There are many good things going on during the five day festival including many family friendly events. But the evening carnival has to be looked at."
Derry City Council's director of development John Meehan said a review of the event would be undertaken in association with the various stakeholders.
"Early indicators from the PSNI and Altnagelvin Hospital reflected a challenging night for the emergency services," he said.
Meanwhile, the Council's development committee chairman, Cllr. Gerard Diver said it was important to look at the future "constructively".
"While acknowledging the exemplary family event at Halloween, it is important to listen to the concerns raised and reflect upon what has been said. It is in all our interests to constantly review and improve this festival to ensure everyone enjoys a safe and sensible Halloween," he said.
For more Halloween photos, click here .
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