Belfast Telegraph

SF councillor slams 'thuggery' that left dad injured after Newry v Portadown clash

Newry and Portadown supporters confront each other
Newry and Portadown supporters confront each other
Newry councillor Valerie Harte

By Staff Reporter

A councillor has slammed those responsible for the violence at the end of last Friday night's football match between Newry City and Portadown after her elderly father was injured in the trouble.

And Sinn Fein's Valerie Harte branded the supporters involved in the trouble at Newry Showgrounds as no more than "criminal thugs".

Two people needed medical treatment after an ugly confrontation between fans at the end of the Bluefin Sport Championship fixture, which finished 0-0.

Fans gained access to a the roof of a building in Greenbank Industrial Estate, adjacent to the sponsors' lounge at the stadium.

One elderly Newry fan was hit by a glass and was treated at the scene while a Portadown supporter needed hospital treatment after falling from the roof of a car.

Several cars were also damaged during the violence.

Ms Harte has said that there was no place in sport for the violence that had taken place.

"I hope and expect that those involved will be identified and held to account," she 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 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.

"Finally I would like to thank those who aided my father after he was injured."

In a statement, Newry City AFC condemned "the disgraceful scenes witnessed at The Showgrounds".

"They have no place in football and we will be working closely with the relevant authorities to identify those involved," said Newry's spokesperson Laura Hillen.

"Fighting took place on the rooftop of a small building adjacent to the Newry City sponsors' lounge. We will take time to look into the situation and clarify events before any additional comment."

Ronnie Thompson, Portadown's chief health and safety officer, confirmed a report would be submitted to the club, while Ports chairman Ronnie Stinson added: "We must investigate the circumstances and analyse any information before further official comment."

Both clubs will now conduct internal investigations. Police said they had been called to the ground just before 10pm on Friday.

Sergeant Michael Gallagher added: "We are currently investigating an incident which occurred following a football match between Newry City AFC and Portadown Football club.

"We received a report that a number of vehicles had been damaged in the Showgrounds' car park and that one man had been injured with a bottle. Another man was reported to have been injured in a fall from the roof of a car."

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