VIADUCT LEAP STUNT CONDEMNED

FOOTAGE has appeared on an internet video website showing a group of young people hurling themselves off Dromore viaduct attached to ropes.

In what has been described as an "absolutely crazy" display of dangerous antics the group of six or more, at least one girl among them, can be seen leaping from the local landmark and swinging wildly beneath one of its arches.

The video clip was uploaded some time within the last two weeks but it has since emerged that the footage is believed to be a number of years old, part of a video compilation charting the extra-curricular activities of a group of trained climbers; no locals are thought to have been involved. Nevertheless, local police have condemned the stunt as highly irresponsible.

The footage first shows a number of the young people, armed with heavy duty drills, driving holes in the parapet of the viaduct and sinking anchor bolts.

Harnessed to ropes and anchored to the viaduct, the young people are shown throwing themselves off the top, some facing forwards, others backwards, still others tumbling over the parapet.

One of the group appears to collide with a stone upright; despite apparently being trained climbers, none seem to be wearing any kind of protective equipment.

The video ends with the arrival of a police car and an officer can be seen speaking to one of the group.

Local police said the incident was totally irresponsible, the young people concerned running the risk of serious injury.

They would be taking steps, they said, to try and ensure it never happened again, including revisiting the longstanding problem of how to secure the viaduct and prevent unauthorised access.

To that end they have been in touch with officials at Banbridge District Council, which owns the Dromore landmark.

A council spokesperson said, "Banbridge District Council is working with the PSNI on this incident; this activity is extremely dangerous and could cause serious injury to those participating or to users of the park.

"The people undertaking this activity are trespassing and causing criminal damage to Council property.

"The PSNI are investigating this incident and if individuals are identified the Council will be pursuing prosecutions.

"Council facilitates a number of groups to use the Viaduct for abseiling purposes; before permission is given the group organising the activity must demonstrate that they have carried out a thorough risk assessment and have appropriate insurance."