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There'll be trouble if Celtic come to Belfast on Twelfth, say locals



Relaxed: William McIlwaine believes supporters will just enjoy the game

Relaxed: William McIlwaine believes supporters will just enjoy the game

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Relaxed: William McIlwaine believes supporters will just enjoy the game

Residents living near Windsor Park have raised concerns about a possible Linfield v Celtic match on the eve of the Twelfth.

The sides could meet in a Champions League second round qualifier in Belfast on the Eleventh Night. However, there are fears that a clash at the height of the marching season could be a security headache.

People living in The Village area, close to Windsor Park, yesterday raised concerns about the potential for trouble.

Scott Hollywood, a 24-year-old sales assistant, said: "It will be a bad idea because of the festivities that happen around that time of year.

"I have read in the paper though that both teams have decided to do it earlier on the 11th, which is good for the community."

Long-term resident David Gorden said: "I think it is good for the area, because there will be a lot of people about, spending money. I'm worried that there will be trouble though."

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William McIlwaine, who works in security, said he was hopeful it would pass off without major incident.

"When I heard the draw last night I was excited about it, obviously the date is a cause for concern," he said.

"I think that most decent supporters of both sides will be happy enough to come along and just enjoy the game and the atmosphere.

"Obviously there is a possibility of trouble, but the residents are hoping that won't be the case."

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "Of course there will be trouble, it is a stupid idea to have it Northern Ireland, never mind having it over the Twelfth."

A female resident said: "There will be trouble, plain and simple, the community will suffer because of it."

The tie would be the first between Linfield and Celtic, managed by Co Antrim man Brendan Rodgers.

If Linfield win their first round tie against a side from San Marino, they will host the Hoops on July 11. It is understood any match is likely to be moved from 7.45pm to a 5pm or 5.30pm kick-off.

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