Neighbours who tried to stop teenagers throwing fireworks at cattle in a Co Armagh field were verbally abused last night.
The youths, aged under 15, had been spotted firing massive fireworks - called AMMO 64 ROUNDS - at cattle in a field near Derrytrasna around 7pm.
People living nearby described it as sounding like automatic gunfire.
Aware that cattle in the field would be frightened, the neighbours confronted the two dozen youths, half of whom scattered initially.
Others remained and verbally abused local residents who had asked them to stop throwing fireworks at the animals.
One woman said: “It was frightening. It sounded like shots being fired, automatic gunfire.
“These fireworks were massive. They could have injured the cattle.”
She said they called the farmer who was concerned that his cattle could have become spooked and turned on the youths - injuring or killing them.
SDLP Cllr Declan McAlinden lambasted the teenagers. “This was disgraceful behaviour. It is very concerning because someone could have got hurt.
“Those cattle could have turned on the teenagers and someone could have been hurt or killed,” he said.
He also criticised the youths for trying to intimidate local people.
One neighbour said the crossroads was like a ‘pumpkin graveyard’. “They must have been firing them,” she added.
And she described how her daughter struggled to sleep last night she was so upset at the confrontation.
“It’s ridiculous. Where are their parents? Last year they opened the gate and let the cows out to wander into people’s gardens but this is going a step too far,” she said.