Sunday 10 December 2017

Referee's bodyguard recalls how police tamed the hooligans

Former Garda and International referee Paddy Daly with his referee career memorabilia. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Former Garda and International referee Paddy Daly with his referee career memorabilia. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Ken Foy

A retired detective who was in charge of the referee's security during Ireland's 1995 clash with England has told how he led the referee to safety as all hell broke loose around them.

Paddy Daly was the FAI's international referee's liaison officer - and the respected former garda and international soccer ref will be doing the same job at tomorrow's much-anticipated game.

The 74-year-old, who was in charge of the protection of Dutch referee Dick Jol on the night of the riot, revealed how he feels that Irish fans provoked English fans by booing their national anthem.

"Never before or since has an Irish crowd booed the national anthem of any team, but some of our supporters did that when God Save The Queen was played that night and, of course, that provoked those fans," Mr Daly said.trouble However, he pointed out that he felt that there was "going to be trouble" hours earlier when he observed rowdy, drunken English fans on the streets of the capital.

"These fans were extremely drunk, even at midday, and I could sense their would be trouble, and it happened," he added.

"It all kicked off after Ireland scored and I went on to the pitch to Dick Jol and advised him to get the players off for everyone's safety as things were just getting worse and worse in the stand," Mr Daly said.

There was a 12-minute consultation with the teams and officials before referee Jol decided to abandon the game.

Meanwhile, it was around this stage that garda public order units, led by then Inspector John Mulligan, stormed into the stadium after they had been initially deployed to the city centre rather than the stadium.tackling Retired superintendent Mulligan told the Herald that none of his under-resourced men were found wanting when it came to tackling the hooligans.

After originally being deployed to where the bulk of English fans were in the upper west side of the stadium, Mr Mulligan and his team became aware that a separate crowd of English fans were causing chaos on the lower tier and the public order unit then went to tackle this mob.

"It wasn't a case of making arrests, it was a case of stopping what was going on and we did that. Before the trouble began at the lower level, we had been at the upper level and our presence calmed the situation," he said.

"The baton charges happened on the lower level. It was all over in a matter of minutes," he explained.

After the thugs were subdued, Mr Mulligan and his team made more arrests in the city centre later that night.

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