English fans arrested over riot at soccer match

 

FIVE men were arrested in England yesterday in connection with the riot at the Republic of Ireland-England soccer, international at Lansdowne Road in February 1995.

Four of the men appeared in court after the Irish authorities issued extradition warrants. The fifth is due to appear in court today.

The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) said the five were the only people expected to be extradited from Britain to face charges.

The extradition warrants were issued for alleged "offences of riot and violent disorder", according to a spokeswoman for the NCIS. She said they would be charged with "various offences" in the Republic if the extraditions went ahead.

The match had to be abandoned when English fans, who were located in the upper section of the West Stand, tore up seats and fittings and flung them at the home supporters and gardai below. Substantial damage was caused to the stand.

The Republic of Ireland was leading 1-0 when the trouble started. Some 50 people were injured, with 30 taken to hospital, many suffering from minor head injuries.

At least 45 fans were arrested during the disturbances, four of them Irish. Gardai in riot gear repeatedly batoned-charged the English supporters inside the ground. The Minister for Justice Mrs Owen condemned the English fans. She said: "It is disgraceful that a small, violent group were able to totally disrupt what should have been an enjoyable evening for so many people.

Yesterday's arrests followed "co-operation between five police forces in England and the Garda.

The men who appeared in courts throughout England were: Mr Jason Ankers (25), from Par, Cornwall; Mr Terry Hoskins (33), of Kendal, Cumbria; Mr Sean Knighton (33), of Wallsend, Tyne-and-Wear; and Mr Jerome Lindley (42), of Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.

Mr Graham McNulty, of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, is due to appear n court today.

An official inquiry into the not carried out by the former Chief Justice, Mr Justice Finlay, criticised the level of communication between the gardai and the Football Association of Ireland.

It said the FAI was only informed of the identity of one right-wing hooligan leader shortly before the match began. Inadequate segregation of opposing fans was identified as a contributory factor to the violence. The FAI's policy of reselling returned tickets was also criticised.