I never do lock-ins -- but this was necessary, says publican
Published 10/08/2011 | 05:00
IT WAS the lock-in that nobody wanted. The frightening yobs rampaging outside publican Bill Joyce's west London pub forced him to lock his customers inside for the first time.
Mr Joyce (63), who hails from Castlebar, Co Mayo, has lived in London since 1976 and has owned The Shanakee pub on Ealing Broadway since the 1980s.
He has never had any serious trouble until he witnessed the mayhem erupting outside his pub on Monday night.
"I've been here since 1988 and I've never seen anything like it," he told the Irish Independent last night.
"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."
Fortunately, Mr Joyce and his largely Irish ex-patriot clientele managed to stay out of the epicentre after he barricaded the door shut and locked his customers inside.
"I never do lock-ins but this was necessary," he said.
"It was pretty scary but I'm pretty cool and I didn't let it bother me."
But his neighbour Gerard Donaghy (32), who lives in an apartment overlooking Ealing Green, which was set ablaze, said he was sickened by what he witnessed.
A mob of about 200 thugs -- mostly teenagers wearing hoodies and other disguises -- descended on the high street and started setting fires and smashing and looting everything in their wake, he said.
"They raided pubs and restaurants and used bottles as missiles or set them on fire," he said.
Across town in the Prince Arthur pub in Tottenham, north London, former Roscommon GAA star and publican Michael Finnernan, watched shops being looted and cars and buses set aflame just yards from his pub.
"People don't want to be held hostage indoors but you don't know what way it's going to go," he said.