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Outrage at organised street fights in Dungannon

By Cate McCurry

Published 03/08/2016

Images from online footage showing men brawling in public places in Dungannon in what police confirm are organised fights
Images from online footage showing men brawling in public places in Dungannon in what police confirm are organised fights
Images from online footage showing men brawling in public places in Dungannon in what police confirm are organised fights

Police in Co Tyrone are investigating footage of organised street fights involving gangs of men, showing them brutally attacking each other.

A number of videos have emerged on the internet in recent days which show groups of men - many of them foreign nationals - gathering in public areas in Dungannon for pre-planned fights.

The assaults are taking place in broad daylight and involve dozens of people, including young children, watching as two men attack each other.

The crowd can be heard cheering the pair on while members of the public walk by.

The footage follows a similar video that emerged earlier this week showing two assailants attacking a man on the ground in the town, with one of them stamping on his head.

UUP councillor Walter Cuddy said members of the East Timorese community living in the town were outraged by the organised brawls.

"There must have been some sort of domestic with them as I can't see why they are organising these fights," he said.

"I own a newsagents in the town centre and a number of the East Timor community have been in the shop in recent days and expressed their disgust at what happened.

"They like to keep themselves to themselves but are also very friendly people, and don't give much hassle.

"That community has been living in Dungannon for quite a few years and are spread throughout the town, and also work in Moy Park. A lot of the kids go to the local schools. They are really annoyed this has happened and the publicity it has attracted.

"I have been talking to many of them and their reaction was one of disgust that these people are bringing so much attention to their community for bad reasons."

He called on community leaders to address any issues with those involved and to help stop the street fights.

Mr Cuddy added: "If it's a case where some of them have issues with each other, then they will have to sort it out."

PSNI Inspector Keith Jamieson said police were aware of the incidents and officers were endeavouring to tackle them.

He added: "We are working with the community in an effort to resolve the situation. We will also be increasing patrols in the area as a preventative and reassuring measure.

"I am aware that these fights are being organised online and I would appeal to anyone with information in relation to this to contact police in the first instance so we can act swiftly."

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