Nothing suspicious in Castlecourt alert

Published Saturday, 15 December 2012
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A security alert at Castlecourt shopping centre in Belfast has ended after nothing suspicious was found.

Nothing suspicious in Castlecourt alert
The area has been cordoned off. (© UTV)

The centre was evacuated on Saturday evening following a telephone bomb warning.

Part of Royal Avenue and Millfield were also closed on what was one of the busiest days of the year in the city's commercial and social calendar.

A search operation was carried out but ended shortly after 6pm when nothing suspicious was found at the large complex.

Glyn Roberts of the NI Independent Traders Association said he hopes it hasn't put people off shopping in the run-up to Christmas.

"This is obviously the very last thing Castlecourt and city centre needed," he told UTV.

"I hope it won't have an impact and people won't be put off coming into Belfast city centre and I would encourage everyone to come out and support traders this week."

Alliance South Belfast MLA Anna Lo said shops will have lost a lot of trade because of the alert.

"I am saddened that shops have lost out on an afternoon's worth of trade as a consequence of this security alert," she said.

"Many are struggling to survive in the current economic climate and so rely on a good Christmas trade. The sustainability of some of these shops has been put at risk."

Police said the roads have now been reopened.

A statement continued: "The security alert at Castlecourt has now ended. Neighbouring streets have now all re-opened. Car owners can now return to their vehicles."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ryan in Belfast wrote (776 days ago):
To all those loyalists saying "Put the flag back up": You have to face up to reality, the Union flag will never fly again 365 days a year because the only political party with the power of making that happen is Sinn Fein and as they made clear when they accepted the Alliance compromise that: "We're only agreeing to designated days because it limts the days, we're voting tactically". When SF have the majority their going to get the union flag down completey, regardless if it brings the 6 counties to a standstill. You loyalists have to wake up, your population is in decline, nationalists are increasing, SF holds the majority in many councils, Britain doesnt want NI anymore, etc SF has achieved so much over the last few decades, whether you love them or hate them, you cant deny their a very powerful and resourceful party.
Jonathan in newtownards wrote (776 days ago):
What people don't spend today they will spend tomorrow! get over it already! Life is too short.
Paul in Liverpool wrote (776 days ago):
Reading some of the comments here, some of you lot in N.I are messed up.
Linda in NI wrote (776 days ago):
The nationalist city councillors are the ones who have caused the hassle with Sinn Fein in particular saying they dont take into account the ratepaying traders before they make decisions like this they will know only to well what the reactions will be to controversial decisions like this.
John in Belfast wrote (776 days ago):
In recent days,we have had to endure protesters who have tried to kill and maim police officers, threatened elected reps with death, destroyed property,attacked Catholic homes...blocked roads resulting in long delays for workers and shoppers alike....and now this....
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