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Teenage girls organised Belfast fight after fallout over killer Michael Stone

By Rebecca Black

Published 21/07/2015

Footage of the organised street fight between two girls in Belfast city centre watched by about 200 youths
Footage of the organised street fight between two girls in Belfast city centre watched by about 200 youths
Footage of the organised street fight between two girls in Belfast city centre watched by about 200 youths

One of the teenage girls involved in a shocking brawl arranged online is understood to be a relative of notorious loyalist graveyard killer Michael Stone.

The other is thought to come from the staunchly nationalist Lenadoon area of west Belfast.

It's thought the fall-out between the two 14-year-olds developed after one posted comments on social media defending Stone's past actions.

An online row developed culminating in the pre-arranged brawl that was organised online.

There were shocking scenes as the two teens beat each other up in front of a baying crowd.

Hundreds of youngsters organised themselves into a circle, and one of the girls has a friend help her tie her long hair back before lunging over and repeatedly punching the other girl while taking a number of vicious blows herself.

The girls lash out, initially trying to land blows to the face, then punching each other across the chest and stomach, and grabbing each other's hair, before one yanks the other by the hair through the crowd to enthusiastic cheering.

A number of other girls appear to get involved before the fight breaks up as they hear police are on their way.

An estimated 200 youngsters were in the crowd on Castle Street in Belfast city centre on Sunday evening cheering after the fight, and it is understood some were as young as 11. The fight was believed to have been arranged on a social media website for 5pm.

Police arrested two 14-year-old girls for disorderly behaviour, and a spokesman said they would be reported to the Youth Diversion Officer. A 37-year-old man was also arrested for possession of an offensive weapon.

This is the latest in a series of pre-arranged fights, which seem to be a growing trend during the school holidays.

Justice campaigner Mairia Cahill saw the scenes online and described the fight as "worrying".

"I've just watched that Belfast city centre arranged fight," she said. "Very worrying that young people think this is a) exciting b) normal and c) acceptable."

Chris Donnelly, vice-principal of Holy Cross Boys primary school in north Belfast, emphasised that parents need to speak to their children and warn them of the potential dangers.

He told the Belfast Telegraph that the most worrying fact about this fight was the distances that some travelled to watch it after the word spread online. PSNI Chief Inpector Robert Murdie warned that someone would end up getting seriously hurt if arranged fights continued.

"We would urge young people not to get involved in this type of behaviour," he said.

Mr Murdie warned that fights may start off between two people but can quickly escalate, and the "potential for serious injury cannot be underestimated".

"Younger children in particular could find themselves being drawn into a situation that is potentially very dangerous," he said.

He said police would continue to monitor reports of pre-arranged fights.

"I would urge parents to make sure they know where their children are and what they are doing, and to talk to them about the danger of getting caught up in the moment and the possible outcomes they could face if they are found committing any offence," he said.

Earlier this year, two teenage boys were arrested following a pre-arranged fight in the Crumlin Road area. And last October, two girls were involved in a brawl close to Casement Park.

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