Calls have been made for stronger action to deal with incidents of crowd trouble by a minority of Bray Wanderers fans at some of the club's games.
Gardai had to be called to the Bishopsgate Stadium shortly after 9 p.m. to deal with anti-social behaviour by a small group of Seagulls fans during the club’s away game against Longford Town FC on Friday, June 10.
A Garda spokesperson confirmed one person was subsequently arrested.
“Shortly after 9 p.m., Gardaí were alerted following a disturbance involving a group of supporters inside the grounds at a soccer match in Longford town. The disturbance was brought under control by Gardaí and stewards.
"A number of those involved were identified and removed from the grounds. One male youth (late teens) was subsequently arrested under the Public Order Act. There was no reports of any serious injuries. All of the circumstances of the incident are under investigation and enquires are ongoing.”
Broadcaster Kieran Burke, who was also a commentator for the match, tweeted that the behaviour of some away supporters was “the worst I’ve ever seen”.
“Objects thrown onto pitch, into home end, coins, smoke bombs, stewards attacked, attempted to tear down fence into home end, seats broke, gardai taking lads out. Bray have a problem.”
Cllr Dermot 'Daisy’ O’Brien said while there are different types of football fans, all spectators must take individual responsibility for their behaviour.
"Things become problematic in a club when certain behaviours cross a line of what’s acceptable and while I understand that sometimes the line can be blurry if there are differences of opinion about players, management, match officials, opposition players etc. but as far as I’m concerned it is our individual responsibility to take ownership of how we behave at football matches and how we understand and recognise the consequences of how we behave, not just the potential consequences for us as individual fans but also for our club.”
In a post on Facebook, Cllr O’Brien, a lifelong Seagulls supporter, asked fans to consider the impact that their behaviour at a match could have on others and on the club itself.
"I want our club to be successful. I want the team to give their all in every game, win, lose or draw. I want to be proud of the diversity and loyalty of our fan base. I want to be connected to the efforts to grow the club and contribute to it reaching its potential.
"I want other clubs and fans to have positive experiences when they play Bray Wanderers and I don’t even mind people slagging us because it’s freezing cold in the Carlisle during winter or that we have an identity crisis after the merger or any other football banter because that comes with the territory.
“I do not want our club to be only talked about in a negative way because some fans don’t seem to care about the impact of their behaviour on the club. I don’t want to see the supporter numbers dropping week after week because people can’t trust that they’ll have a match day experience that is safe. I don’t want the club to find itself struggling to progress because the behaviour of some fans has tainted its reputation.
"I don’t want the club management, board and players to be pre-occupied with managing a small minority of fans behaviour at the expense of trying to build community connections and a positive profile for the club.”
Crowd trouble involving a small group of fans also marred the club’s games against Wexford Town and Cork City this season.
Several sources said the cause of recent anti-social behaviour is unclear, adding that crowd trouble at Bray Wanderers matches is considered to be rare.
Video which appears to show fans of Bray Wanderers attacking stewards at Bishopsgate Stadium has been widely circulated online.
In the footage, the young men appear to be aiming punches at stewards, and chanting ‘We are Bray’.
In a statement issued, Bray Wanderers FC said they “strongly condemns the behaviour of a group of individuals in the away section of our game against Longford last night.”
“The club has a zero tolerance policy towards this type of violent and abusive behaviour and is working tirelessly to eliminate it.
“Having identified those principally responsible, the club is now engaged with the Gardai and will act swiftly and decisively to ensure these individuals are held accountable for their actions.
“The safety of all players, supporters and stewards is of paramount importance to the club, and we will not tolerate a minority denigrating the club’s name and standing.”
The League of Ireland and the FAI also condemned the behaviour of a minority of Bray Wanderers fans during the match against Longford Town, adding that further action would be taken once gardai have concluded their investigations.