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Two arrested after riot following Irish unity march in Glasgow

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon condemned the violence as ‘unacceptable’.

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

By Conor Riordan, PA Scotland

Two people have been arrested after a protest 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” in Govan on Friday.

Officers said the planned march, 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.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon condemned the incident as “unacceptable”.

She tweeted: “What happened in Govan last night was utterly unacceptable. My thanks to @policescotland for their response. I welcome Glasgow City Council’s commitment to review the procedures around marches. Peaceful protest is a part of our democracy – violent and sectarian disruption is not.”

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Witnesses said smoke bombs were used in the incident (Cazza @enderbyc/PA)

Witnesses reported smoke bombs being used.

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

Once the road reopened at 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 on Friday, Glasgow City Council also called the disorder “unacceptable”.

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The scene in Govan Road, Glasgow after trouble flared following an Irish unity march and counter-protests (Laura Paterson/PA)

On Saturday, police arrested two men – aged 37 and 21 – following the alleged public disorder.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Last night’s scenes in Glasgow were totally unacceptable.

“I have spoken to leader of Glasgow City Council this morning and welcome the council’s strong statement of intent. I reiterated that the Scottish Government stands ready to support the council in any way we can.

“We will take the necessary actions to keep our streets safe from the sectarian thuggery we witnessed last night.

“Scotland is a diverse, multicultural and tolerant society and any form of violent disorder is completely and utterly unacceptable to the Scottish Government and the vast majority of Scots.”

PA

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