St Patrick's Day fest in Northampton in doubt over police's safety concerns

Teresa Mccarthy and the Swan and Helmet team still hope to hold the festival on Saturday, March 17, 2018
Teresa Mccarthy and the Swan and Helmet team still hope to hold the festival on Saturday, March 17, 2018

A bid by a Northampton pub landlady to run a St Patrick's Day Festival next March is in doubt.

Teresa McCarthy of the Swan and Helmet, in The Mounts, has applied to Northampton Borough Council to hold the live music event in Clare Street and Grove Road and highways have agreed to close part of both roads.

But police and environmental health have objected because they can't be sure that the festival - which would feature live music and food and alcoholic drink - would be safe.

Sergeant Martin O'Connell said: "On the basis of the application, it isn't possible for us to properly risk assess the event.

"I place this objection in the spirit of keeping people safe."

The festival would see Clare Street closed between Grove Road and Queens Road. Grove Road would be shut from Clare Street to Somerset Street.

Louise Marshall, a senior environmental health officer, said it was objecting to the festival on the grounds of public nuisance.

"The event is to take place in a residential area and there's the potential for noise disturbance to people living in surrounding houses."

Mrs McCarthy, landlady for 11 years, points out in the application that she already successfully organises an annual event in a built-up area, namely the Speedy Cup festival and donkey derby on The Racecourse every June.

She said: "We're hoping to celebrate all that is great about our Irish heritage and culture in true style.

"Traditional Irish music and dancing will be performed. There will be an outdoor stage with live entertainment taking place."