Londonderry door supervisors intervene and save a life while preventing a brawl in Portrush

28 August 2020


Two door supervisors from Londonderry saved a young man’s life and prevented a mass brawl on Saturday 01 August. 

Gary Holmes, who has worked in security for over 10 years, and Marc Kelly, an experienced door supervisor, were working at a bar in Portrush. They were managing the door when they noticed a group of at least fifteen young men chasing another young man. 

In a video that went viral on Facebook, the young man tried to run away, but was cornered. Seeing that he was in danger, two people came to his aid, one of whom was a retired police officer and the other a retired prison officer. However, they were hugely outnumbered and the group of young men began threatening them as well. 

In the video, this is when Gary and Marc can be seen intervening. As the group of young men started to shout violent threats and start fights, Gary and Marc used their training and experience to de-escalate the situation and break up the fights. They also got the young man and the two people who tried to help him to safety. 

When we spoke to Gary, he said:

“I don’t know why they were chasing after this young guy but when I saw what was happening, my instinct just kicked in.
 Once we had broken up all the fights we took the young lad and the two people who had tried to help him offsite. The police arrived a little later and thanked us for stepping in because it could have ended quite badly. Looking back on what happened, I don’t know what would have happened to that lad had we not got involved.”

Marc also said:

“We were standing at the front door on duty and a pair of bad youths seemed to just kick off. This happened on a main street in Portrush. We stepped in and were outnumbered but managed to get things under control. It was a free for all before we got involved - everyone was going after each other and I have no idea why but I’m just glad everyone was alright. They were shouting abuse at us but we take it with a pinch of salt.”  

We are promoting the industry’s dedication and commitment through the #SIAHeroes campaign. It is sharing inspiring stories of security operatives who are keeping the public safe and secure at this critical time.

Ian Todd, our Chief Executive, said:

“We are championing security operatives who go above and beyond the call of duty through our #SIAHeroes campaign. Gary and Marc’s story highlights the unseen work carried out by security operatives, across the UK, on a daily basis.​  They and many of the operatives who work in the private security industry deserve recognition and respect for the critical contribution they make to protecting the public."

Read all of our #SIAHeroes stories online here.

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Further information:

  • The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Our main duties are: the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities; and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.
  • For further information about the Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates visit www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk. The SIA is also on Facebook- this link opens in a new window (Security Industry Authority) and Twitter- this link opens in a new window (SIAuk).​​​​​​​​​​​