Thursday 17 August 2017

No security on Luas as football thugs ran riot

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

THERE were no security guards on a Luas tram when warring football fans clashed last week.

The incident happened on the Red Line as supporters of Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne FC travelled home after a pre-season 'friendly' in Tallaght Stadium last Friday night.

Witnesses reported that a group of known Shelbourne fans, who have been banned from the team's home stadium, Tolka Park, began shouting abuse at Rovers supporters at the Belgard stop. A mass fight between the two groups ensued.

Gardai in Tallaght are investigating the incident and Luas operator Veolia Transport said it had handed over CCTV footage taken from the tram.

No passengers or staff were hurt in the incident, which occurred at about 10.30pm.

However, terrified passengers on the packed tram said they were left "very exposed" due to a lack of security guards.

A spokesperson for Veolia defended security arrangements for the Luas and said the company worked closely with gardai and Shamrock Rovers. However, she confirmed that no security guards were on the tram.

John Byrne, spokesman for the Shamrock Rovers Supporters' Club, said his officials were working with the gardai, Luas and the FAI to try and identify the troublemakers.

He added that if they were found to be Rovers' fans, then they would be banned from Tallaght Stadium.

Shelbourne FC declined to comment.

Irish Independent

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