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Judicial CP - May 2003
Belfast Telegraph, Northern Ireland, 3 May 2003
Bring back birch, demands Mayor
AN Ulster mayor today called for the birch to be brought back after four youths set an aisle of toilet rolls on fire in a local supermarket.
Antrim Mayor Mervyn Rea spoke out after the incident in the local Tesco store.
Fortunately, quick action of staff and the emergency services averted near disaster and prevented the fire from spreading too far.
Police admitted the consequences could have been serious, and they praised staff and emergency services for averting near tragedy.
Mr Rea suggested that corporal punishment should be brought back as a deterrent to young hooligans.
"This incident is absolutely deplorable and shows that these vandals were just out for wanton destruction with no care for other people or property," he said.
"The sooner we take stricter action, the better, as society is taking a turn for the worse.
"I believe that there is nothing wrong with the old way of doing things and corporal punishment would be a good deterrent.
"I hope that these youths are caught and dealt with through the courts and, perhaps more importantly, dealt with by their parents.
"We can only be thankful that the incident was no worse than it was and I appreciate the quick action of the staff and fire service in preventing something much more serious."
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