Pubs close 'on police advice' with road blocked as dozens gather for wake

Pubs have been closed ‘on the advice of the authorities’ and a road has been blocked for a wake to mourn a dad who died following a GMP chase. Up to 50 people gathered in Lowton near Golborne from Thursday afternoon to mark the death of Paddy Connors. The 36-year-old father-of four died with his friend Tommy Sharp, 29, following a police chase last month.

Friends and family gathered in Lowton, blocking Derby Road where the event was held. Many of those present were seen drinking. A number of high-performance cars as well as motor-homes and flat-bed trucks were at the scene tonight, some with posters of Mr Connors in the window.

Irish tricolours were waving at the wake

The Irish tricolour was seen waving while there were also floral tributes and huge gold-coloured ornament mounted on a truck.

Eye-witnesses said a group of 40 to 50 people were at the event, including some children. One resident called it ‘absolute madness’ while others questioned why the police did not intervene. Others said it was right to allow them to mourn in their own way.

Pubs close 'on police advice' with road blocked as dozens gather for wakePaddy Connors

Under current coronavirus rules, the maximum number of people allowed at a funeral is 30.

The police were at the scene earlier in the evening but did not appear to intervene. Three pubs in the area posted on social media that they had to close on the advice of the police and council: The Queen Anne, The Millstone and The Ram’s Head.

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On its Facebook page, the manager of the Queen Anne posted: “Due to a rather large gathering in town we’ve been advised by local authorities to shut our doors for 2 days. “You couldn’t make up the next twist and turn that 2020 takes could you.

We hope you all stay safe and we’ll see you all on Saturday hopefully.” The Millstone posted: “Sorry we are closed for a couple of days. We received a phone call earlier advising that there was a large gathering happening locally.

Under the current guidelines we felt it wouldn’t be right to risk it for our customers. We will reopen at 10am on Saturday.

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Pubs close 'on police advice' with road blocked as dozens gather for wake

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“We hope you understand and see you soon.” The Ram’s Head said: “Following advice from licensing and the police, we will be closed with immediate effect and hope to reopen our doors on Saturday. We will keep everyone informed of further details as we know them and hope Boris doesn’t close us in the meantime.”

Mr Connors’ funeral is tomorrow. In traveller culture, a wake happens before the funeral. About a hundred people attended a wake in Miles Platting for his friend Mr Sharp on Monday night, which included a huge marquee.

A Rolls Royce and a Lamborghini were among the supercars seen at the event.

Pubs close 'on police advice' with road blocked as dozens gather for wakeA supercar arrives at Tommy Sharp’s wake amid a deluge

Inquests into the deaths of Paddy Connors, 36, and Tommy Sharp, 29, were opened and adjourned last week. Both lost their lives when a car they were in crashed into two other cars on Frederick Road, Salford, following the short pursuit. Paddy, who leaves a wife and four children and lived in Wigan, and married father-of-two Tommy, from Salford, were in a Mercedes C class car at the time, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

Pubs close 'on police advice' with road blocked as dozens gather for wakePaddy Connors, left, and Tommy Sharp

The police watchdog is investigating.

The IOPC said initial enquiries have shown an unmarked police car – an Audi – activated its emergency lights and siren to signal to the Mercedes to stop.

Following a short pursuit, which lasted less than a minute along Lower Broughton Street and Frederick Road, the Mercedes collided with two cars, both Volkswagen Passats, the watchdog added.

The collision happened at around 11.40pm on Wednesday, September 23.

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