Irish bar owner forced to lock customers in as rioters rampage on London street

Source: Cathal Dervan, IrishCentral.com

 

An Irish publican has spoken of the fear that caused him to lock his customers in as rioting spread on the streets of London.

Mayo born Bill Joyce kept customers locked inside his Shanakee Bar on Ealing Broadway as yobs burnt and looted shops in the street outside.

The 63-year-old from Castlebar has operated the popular Irish bar since the early 1980s and has never witnessed anything like the current mayhem across the UK.

“I’ve been here since 1988 and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Joyce told the Irish Independent.

“We looked out the window and they were running around on the street outside, totally out of control.

“There were small groups of about six or seven and then a hundred came along smashing windows and setting fires.”

Fearing an invasion by the rampaging yobs, Joyce locked his customers into his pub and barricaded the door shut.

He added: “I never do lock-ins but this was necessary. It was pretty scary but I’m pretty cool and I didn’t let it bother me.”

Fellow Irishman Gerard Donaghy had to look on as his apartment in a nearby block was targeted by a gang of 200 thugs, mostly teenagers wearing hoodies and other disguises.

“They just descended on the high street and started setting fires and smashing and looting everything in their wake,” said the 32-year-old Donaghy.

“They raided pubs and restaurants and used bottles as missiles or set them on fire.”

Former Roscommon footballer Michael Finnernan watched from inside his Prince Arthur pub in Tottenham as shops were looted and buses and cars set on fire just yards from his premises.

“People don’t want to be held hostage indoors but you don’t know what way it’s going to go,” said Finnernan.

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