herald

Monday 20 November 2017

Soccer thugs terrorise mothers and children in Luas madness

SHAME: Riot gardai detain six after fans storm tram following match

FOOTBALL thugs spread mayhem and terror on board a Luas tram when fighting spilled over from the platform.

On another unsavoury night for League of Ireland football, the hooligans terrified women and children who were on board the tram when it stopped in Tallaght last week.

Members of the Garda riot squad arrested six men after disturbances at the Luas following the Setanta Sports Cup final.

Gardai deployed the Public Order Unit after fans from Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic boarded the tram in Tallaght. Such was the mayhem on board that the tram began rocking from side to side, terrifying passengers.

One of the six men arrested is believed to have thrown a punch at a garda.

The May 15 violence began after the first domestic silverware was handed out.

Passengers watched as gardai physically subdued fans who refused to co-operate with them at the Tallaght stop on the Luas Red Line. An eyewitness told the Herald the clashes took place with terrified women and children looking on.

"There were a lot of women with children on the Luas at the time and it couldn't have been pleasant for them," he said.

"It was a frightening thing for anyone attending league of Ireland games. There were about 30 or 40 Bohs and Pats fans and from what we heard they had been refused admission to a number of pubs in the area before the game

"They boarded the Luas around 9pm following the game and began chanting and rocking the tram from side to side, mainly being a nuisance.

"The police came on and gave them a warning, but they had to call in the riot police when they wouldn't cease."





arrested

A Garda spokesperson confirmed to the Herald that they are still investigating the incident but no charges have been brought.

"Gardai are currently investigating an incident from Saturday night May 15. Six men were arrested by uniformed members of the garda who were backed up by the Public Order Unit," he said.

"The incident occurred at the Belgard Stop on the Luas Red Line at around 9.10pm. None of the men involved have appeared before the courts.

A Luas spokesperson said that they were happy with the security arrangements that were in place in the aftermath of the game at Tallaght Stadium.

"Veolia can confirm that there was an incident on one of our trams last Saturday. A large crowd arrived at the Luas stop at the same time and once aboard they started rocking the tram," she said.

"There were a number of gardai at the stop who worked alongside our security company STT to clear the tram. With any event that takes place at the Point or at Tallaght Stadium, we met with gardai in advance and work in conjunction with them.

"We also had additional security staff from STT deployed at the time of the incident.

"Thankfully the gardai were on the scene and intervened without us having to call them in once they saw what was happening on the tram.

"A number of gardai travelled into the city centre on trams along with our security to safeguard ordinary patrons."

Mayor of Tallaght Mick Duff said that the disturbance was an "isolated incident" and that Tallaght Stadium had developed a family-friendly atmosphere.

"There is a certain rivalry between a couple of teams but most of games go through unscathed," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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