Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Police vow ‘robust’ response after protesters spark riot

Hundreds of people protesting against an Irish unity march were said to have sparked ‘significant disorder’.

Police dealing with disorder in Govan, Glasgow (@JustShelbyMay/PA
Police dealing with disorder in Govan, Glasgow (@JustShelbyMay/PA

By Laura Paterson, PA Scotland

Police have promised a ‘thorough and robust” inquiry after protesters against an Irish unity march sparked a riot in Glasgow.

Riot police, mounted officers, a force helicopter and dog units were used to quell  “significant disorder”.

Police said the planned march through the city’s Govan area, organised by the James Connolly Republican Flute Band, was met by hundreds of “disruptive” counter demonstrators at around 7pm.

The force said this led to “significant disorder” around Govan Road, which was blocked by officers.

It is extremely disappointing to see people acting in this fashion, causing fear and alarm to members of the public as well as putting many people at risk Chief Superintendent Mark Hargreaves

Chief Superintendent Mark Hargreaves said: “Police Scotland has a duty to facilitate processions and any peaceful protest, but this kind of behaviour by persons demonstrating against the parade is utterly unacceptable.

“It is extremely disappointing to see people acting in this fashion, causing fear and alarm to members of the public as well as putting many people at risk.”

He added: “Police Scotland will undertake a thorough and robust enquiry, and take any necessary action against those found to have been causing disruption.”

Witnesses reported smoke bombs being used.

bpanews_79b6575b-19f1-4533-bd14-4648e9df0f02_embedded2719506
Witnesses said smoke bombs were used in the incident (Cazza @enderbyc/PA)

Glasgow City Council advised of the road block in a traffic bulletin, and Govan Subway Station also closed due to the incident but has since reopened.

Once the road reopened around 9.45pm, a few police vehicles remained in the area, including riot vans.

Debris and what appeared to be makeshift barriers could be seen at the side of the road.

In a statement, Glasgow City Council called the disorder “unacceptable”.

bpanews_79b6575b-19f1-4533-bd14-4648e9df0f02_embedded244942894
The scene in Govan Road, Glasgow after trouble flared following a Irish Unity march and counter protest (Laura Paterson/PA)

“The council is clear that the law expects it to facilitate public processions; including those that some people oppose or find offensive,” it said.

“However, this cannot continue to be at the expense of the overwhelming majority of Glasgwegians, who want nothing to do with these marches, or counter-protests.

“The city needs and wants fewer marches. We are prepared to consider any action that will protect communities from morons intent on bringing mayhem to the streets of our city”.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph