Thursday 22 March 2018

Arrested fans released in time for game

Ed Carty and Fiach Kelly

THREE Irish fans arrested over vandalism in a bar in Poznan were released yesterday in time to watch Ireland's opening game.

The trio were detained around the same time as 10 Polish and one Croat man were taken into custody after violence broke out in the Stary Rynek part of town.

It is understood the Irish men were with a large group of people from other countries when bottles, glasses and a lamp were smashed in a bar in the old market square. The incident was described as pre-match celebrations getting out of hand.

Two of the Irish men were arrested in relation to damage to property and the third for insulting a police officer.

Dozens of riot police were dispatched to the square to restore order at around 3am yesterday after fighting broke out among a small number of fans.

There was further minor clashes between some Polish and Croat fans and riot police were deployed a second time.

The Mayor of Poznan Ryszard Grobelny attempted to play down the incident.

"This kind of incident is not unusual with a gathering of this size and the fans' behaviour has normally been excellent," he said.

Mr Grobelny insisted that the police action stopped the violence spreading.

"I would not want to see any incidents of this kind happening. But when you have thousands of fans and many litres of beer drunk these incidents are sadly inevitable," he added.

Elsewhere in the square, where wider trouble broke out, flares were set off and chairs and tables overturned.

It is understood that some of the Polish men detained were followers of the Lech Poznan football team.

Elsewhere, two Irish fans were detained off a flight into the city on Friday after staff on the plane reported them for disorderly and abusive behaviour.

Irish Independent

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