A walking route on the outskirts of Ballinamallard known as The Mill Race has been subjected to littering over the weekend after suspected underage drinking took place in the area.

Empty bottles including Buckfast and vodka were strewn about the woodland area along with empty beer cans and take away containers. A bike was also abandoned on the route.

In a post to the Police Fermanagh and Omagh Facebook page on June 27, a PSNI spokesman said: “Most of the rubbish was left within yards of a bin. The size of the bike would strongly suggest that the drinkers were under the legal age. This does not take away from the fact that there should be no drinking here whatsoever!”

“Also take note that this area is closed by the council due to Covid-19 and also due to dangerous path subsidence. Please have some respect for your community!” the PSNI spokesman added.

Ulster Unionist Councillor for Erne North Diana Armstrong commented that she is really angry at yet again another example of littering in the district – this time at the Mill Race Walk in Ballinamallard.

“This Walk is an amenity close to the village of Ballinamallard and is a quiet, scenic sanctuary for people to enjoy for a walk, either on their own or as families. Everyone has a right to use it but with that right comes responsibility – to leave no trace and to allow others to enjoy the facility,” Councillor Armstrong told The Impartial Reporter.

Councillor Armstrong noted that more worrying is the evidence of underage drinking: “I have been in touch with the local Policing Neighbourhood Team to request increased patrols in the village as a deterrent to antisocial behaviour. I understand that the Police did speak to a number of young people on the evening of this occurrence.”

With lockdown measures, Councillor Armstrong appreciates that young people want to get out and meet friends and socialise, particularly in good weather and that most young people do this within current Covid-19 guidelines and they are to be commended.

She added: “However those who consume or supply alcohol underage, if detected, will face prosecution. It is hoped that with relaxation of Covid-19 measures more recreational space will be opened to the public shortly.”

“Widespread littering and fly tipping is diverting resources from other essential works in the district and affects everyone in our community. Thanks need to be expressed to the Council for cleaning up the pathway after this incident,” Councillor Armstrong concluded.