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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 August, 2003, 19:33 GMT 20:33 UK
Fake goods seized at fair
The two-day fair usually attracts a large crowd
The two-day fair usually attracts a large crowd
Police have seized 120,000 worth of counterfeit goods at one of Ireland's oldest traditional fairs.

Counterfeit CDs, DVDs and clothing were recovered on the two days of the Auld Lammas Fair in County Antrim on 25 and 26 August.

Twenty officers were involved in the operation in Ballycastle.

It followed an announcement on Monday that a leading clothing retailer has postponed plans to expand in Northern Ireland because of the volume of fake goods being sold in the province.

Counterfeit goods are estimated to be worth about 135m a year to criminals operating in the province.

At last year's Auld Lammas Fair, the police operation netted 400,000 of fake goods.

Acting chief inspector Tom Crawford said he was disappointed that so many people continued to sell counterfeit goods at the fair.

He said his officers had a duty to protect legitimate traders in the town.

We have a responsibility to try and assist the genuine traders of the town for the goods they are selling.
Tom Crawford
Acting chief inspector

"We would suggest that a lot of it goes into the back of paramilitaries' pockets and it also cuts jobs in genuine industries," he said.

"There are clothing factories closing all over here because people are being ripped off and I think we have a responsibility to try and assist the genuine traders of the town for the goods they are selling.

"They are doing people out of employment, the genuine people, and they are not bargains.

"They might look bargains, but they fall apart within days.

"Some of the shirts, as soon as they hit the wash, they shrink and we have had numerous complaints from people who have come back with goods two and three days after the fair.

"I am perfectly happy that we are doing the right thing."

The annual fair, which has been going on for 400 years, features about 400 stalls for visitors to sample.

Attractions include horse trading, a fun-fair and delicacies such as dulse, a purple, dried seaweed, and Yellowman, a honeycombed sticky toffee.

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