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THE owner of Copper Face Jacks today told of his shock at the scenes he witnessed outside his club, telling the Herald: "I never want to see anything like that happen again."

Cathal Jackson said he witnessed the distressing incident first-hand as a crowd of up to 1,500 clubbers suddenly tried to get into an event billed as 'Messy Mondays' which he said would probably be axed.

And he said that he opened emergency fire escapes to try to dissipate the crowd, which was described as a 'stampede', that was caught in Camden Place, the narrow laneway beside the club.


He said: "When I arrived the heave had happened and I could see people lying on the ground. There was just an unbelievable number of people coming from three directions to the club. We couldn't have anticipated those numbers.

"The laneway in Camden Place got blocked and I opened a fire escape the let people in. Under the circumstances we had to do something, and I shouted to the doormen to let people in without paying just to try and reduce the crowd in the street." The event was the first of its kind allowing over-18s into the venue, which has a strict over-21s policy at weekends.

Mr Jackson defended his crowd control and safety record and said that last night's events were one of a kind. He said: "The sheer volume of people arriving took us all by surprise. I have doormen working at the front of the building and have people monitoring the street, but we have never seen these numbers arrive so quickly.

"Usually they come sporadically, but last night was different.

"I pride myself on the safety of our customers, and our record over 18 years stands, and I never want to see anything like that again."

The 'Messy Mondays' event is now under review and Mr Jackson said he will hold talks with management on the issue – but thinks it probably won't be held in the future.

Last night's event went ahead, but with a crowd of around 1,400 people. The club has a capacity for nearly 1,800 people.