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Pensioner injured with glass bottle as fans clash following football match

April 23, 2018

A pensioner was one of two men injured during a disturbance following a football match at the Newry Showgrounds on Friday evening.

Trouble flared around 10.00pm after the Irish League Championship game between Newry City AFC and Portadown ended in a scoreless draw.  

Fighting broke out on the rooftop of a small building next to the Newry City sponsors’ lounge, which resulted in injury for a Portadown fan when he fell to the ground.  An elderly Newry fan was injured with a glass bottle, police said.

The Ambulance Service was tasked and one of the casualties received medical attention at the scene while the other was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries.

Police confirmed that two men were injured in the fracas which they say involved “a number of persons”, adding that several vehicles parked in the vicinity were also damaged.

One of the injured men is the father of Newry Sinn Fein Councillor Valerie Harte.  She hit out at those responsible for the violence saying that the “criminal thuggery” witnessed had “no place in sport”.

In a statement, Ms Harte said: “Newry City Football Club, and those involved with it, have worked hard to ensure that it is a welcoming sports club, open to all. My father and all who follow it are proud of the club’s achievements.  It is disappointing that this criminal thuggery inflicted on him and other supporters on Friday night occurred.  There is no place for thuggery  in sport. 

“I fully expect the PSNI and the relative authorities to investigate this incident, identify those involved and ensure they face the full rigours of the law,” she added, and thanked those who assisted her father at the scene.

Sergeant Michael Gallagher said police are engaging with both football clubs in a bid to identify those involved in the violence and anyone with information or who can assist with the investigation is asked to contact detectives on 101 quoting reference number 1679 of 20/4/18.

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