Northern Ireland news

Cork City football fans take shelter in Derry bar and homes after fighting following League of Ireland game

Derry City players celebrate Ronan Curtis's goal against Cork City at the Brandywell on Friday night. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
John Monaghan

FOOTBALL fans from Cork had to find refuge in homes in Derry city after fighting broke out between a group of men following a match on Friday night.

The altercation broke out on Lecky Road after Derry's 1-0 win over Cork City in the League of Ireland game at the Brandywell, prior to which the club's number 18 shirt was retired in memory of Mark Farren, who died last month.

At 10.30pm, around 30 to 40 Cork supporters were targeted by up to 150 youths, some armed with batons and stones.

It is not believed that the youths had been at the game.

Police officers who arrived on the scene were also attacked by a group of around 20 young people.

Some of the Cork fans had to take shelter in local homes and a bar.

Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue witnessed the attack and told Cork's Evening Echo that "it was the most vicious attack, one that this community never wants to see again, it was awful."

She said: "Local residents and business owners opened their doors when they realised what was going on, and we managed to get a lot of the Cork City fans into one bar where we closed the shutters to keep them safe before calling taxis to take them back to their hotel."

In a statement on Saturday, Cork City said it wished to condemn those involved.

It said: "The club has been made aware of an incident in Derry last night, where a group of Cork City fans were attacked outside the Brandywell.

"The club utterly condemns those involved in the attack, who in no way represent Derry City FC, their supporters or supporters of the League of Ireland in general."

The club added: "We would like to thank those locals who came to the assistance of the Cork City fans and Derry City FC for their subsequent assistance."

Police said they had received "two reports" of an altercation between a group of men in the Lecky Road area.

A police spokesman said: "One of the reports stated that the group were throwing bottles at each other and at passing cars. A wing mirror on one car was broken as a result.

"When police attended some minutes later, approximately 20 youths were in the area. There was no altercation occurring, though the youths threw a number of stones and bottles at the police vehicle."

 

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