Protesters against Irish unity march in Glasgow cause ‘significant disorder’
March by James Connolly Republican Flute Band met with counter demonstration
Govan Road, Glasgow blocked by police as trouble flared following an Irish Unity march and counter protest. Photograph: John Aitken/PA Wire
Riot police, mounted officers, a police helicopter and dog units were used in Glasgow after protesters against an Irish unity march sparked “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.
Chief superintendent Mark Hargreaves said Police Scotland had a duty to facilitate processions and any peaceful protest, but “this kind of behaviour by persons demonstrating against the parade was utterly unacceptable”.
It was 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 said.
Specialist public order officers in full protective equipment, air support and dog units were deployed.
“We are using proportionate tactics to de-escalate the situation as quickly and safely as possible. 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. Glasgow City Council advised of the road block in a traffic bulletin and Govan subway station closed for a time due to the incident but has since reopened. – PA