Traders caught up in Larne security alert

Business premises on Upper Main Street were evacuated during Monday's security alert.
Business premises on Upper Main Street were evacuated during Monday's security alert.
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Over 20 town centre businesses were forced to close their doors after a hoax device sparked a security alert.

Premises in the area of Dunluce Street, Lower Cross Street, High Street and Upper Main Street were evacuated during the alert, which began shortly after midday on Monday, October 13.

By the time the device had been declared a hoax around 5.30pm, many businesses had lost out on a significant amount of trade.

Speaking to the Times on Tuesday morning, Derek McGookin of Thompsons Lighting on Main Street said the incident had cost him about 70 per cent of his day’s total takings.

He added: “Monday afternoon is always busy for us, so we lost out badly because of this hoax.

“Not only is this bad for us and for the town’s economy as a whole, but it sends out the wrong kind of message about Larne.”

Dominic Watt, owner of Watt’s Butchers on Main Street, added: “We lost a good half a day’s trade.

“I don’t know what those responsible for this incident were trying to achieve, but they have accomplished nothing except disrupting the lives of traders, shoppers and motorists.”