Ports clarify security arrangements

Shamrock Park
Shamrock Park

Portadown officials have moved to clarify security arrangements for Shamrock Park games in which supporters must enter via the Rectory Park turnstiles.

One fan made contact with the ‘Times’ this week to ask for confirmation of the situation following last Monday’s 5-3 defeat of Glentoran in the Danske Bank Premiership.

Ronnie Thompson, the club’s health and safety officer, has explained the process.

“We make a decision based on the circumstances in each game,” he said. “An announcement was made, in keeping with protocol, informing fans that those wishing to leave early can exit via the Rectory Park turnstiles.

“However, fans could wait a few minutes after the final whistle for the away support to clear and then go out the traditional front gates.

“From the CCTV cameras we could see that the numbers opting to exit via the Rectory Park turnstiles did not warrant the presence of an official or to open up that unlocked main gate.

“Each turnstile is designed to handle up to 600 people per hour.

“If that had changed then we would have responded quickly.

“The majority of the home supporters decided to wait around the stands for five minutes or so until we could open the front gates.”