ENNISKILLEN actor Adrian Dunbar has called for the town’s police station to be transformed into a tourist attraction akin to Ebrington in Derry.
Speaking on Eamon Mallie’s ‘Face to Face’, which was due to air on ITV last night (Tuesday), Mr Dunbar called for the Queen Street station, to be converted into a public space for locals and visitors alike much like the historic Derry army barracks.
The popular attraction, which is located at the end of the Peace Bridge, was handed back to the people of Derry after the last soldiers left the site. Mr Dunbar said he feels the same could be done with the local PSNI station in the county town as a way to “get the island back.”
“We need to get the barracks back,” he told the journalist. “I would like to see the police taken out of the army barracks like they did in Ebrington in Derry, and return that space back to the town, especially so we can see the view from Queen Street back down to what is actually quite a beautiful 18th century building.”
The actor spoke of a range of other topics during last night’s programme, including his support for the Republic of Ireland football team, and his patronage of the Aisling Centre in Enniskillen, which he said did “incredible work.”
“There’s a lot of problems in farming communities and rural communities. Isolation is a very big thing,” said Mr Dunbar.
“There is a lot of pressure on people in Northern Ireland post-conflict. There’s a lot of post traumatic stress and people are still dealing with the fact they haven’t had closure on the deaths of people. There is a big need for places like the Aisling Centre.”
The Enniskillen man, who played Supt Ted Hastings in the TV phenomenon ‘Line of Duty’ and is currently starring in ITV drama ‘Ridley’ as Det Insp Alex Ridley, also recalled how he himself had spent a night in a police station in London with his friend and fellow Fermanagh native Charlie Lawson.
Explaining how he met the former Coronation Street actor at drama school in London and quickly realised his father had been the manager at the Taylor Woods factory where his mother had worked, Mr Dunbar said they became friend instantly despite being from “different sides of the house.”
“I got into a number of scrapes with Charlie over the years, it has to be said,” he said, recalling one night they “got into trouble” after coming out of a pub in the English capital.
Mr Dunbar said he had come late to the gathering and was sober, but the others had been drunk and had staggered out onto the street after last orders when the police arrived. Despite his protests that he wasn’t drunk, as he was the last one still on the road, he was the one spoken to police and was brought into the station.
While he had initially been told he could “head on”, he said “suddenly the desk sergeant came in and said ‘have you got someone called Dunbar in here. Stick him in the can, his mates are out here giving me grief and I really don’t like them.’”
“The boys had all showed up, banging on the counter going ‘you let our friend out’ and of course that got me slammed in for the night,” he recalled.
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