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Ulster Celtic and Rangers fans play down fears of violence

By Connla Young

Scotland’s top police officer has warned that a combination of alcohol, sun and a bank holiday could make tomorrow’s Old Firm clash “the perfect storm”.

But while police are on high alert across the Irish Sea, community workers and fans of the Old Firm here have played down the chances of trouble this weekend.

Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Stephen House has predicted that violence, including rape and domestic abuse, will surge this weekend.

But last night north Belfast nationalist community worker Joe Marley said he isn’t expecting trouble.

He said: “If there is we will be on the ground to deal with it. We would normally pre-plan for these sorts of days and the feedback we are getting from youth workers is that there’s nothing we have to be worried about.”

Secretary of the Highfield Rangers Supporters Club, Alex Thompson, believes steady heads will ensure there is no trouble on Sunday.

He said: “I think commonsense will prevail on both sides.”

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