Dublin cops get ready for soccer clash between St. Pats and Wisla Krakow
According to the leading Irish daily newspaper, the Irish Independent, public order units from the Irish police force (Garda)
will be on stand-by around Richmond Park for the friendly between St Patrick's Athletic and Wisla Krakow of Poland, whose fans have a reputation for being among the most violent in the world.
The friendly match is due to take place on November 13th and will undoubtedly be attended by many of Ireland's Polish immigrant community.
I lived across the road from St. Patrick's Athletic football ground for some time and came across quite a substantial Polish community in the area. Inchicore has mnay social problems, not least due to heroin and unemployment, so such a money spinner for St. Pat's club will hopefully gel harmonious relations between the 2 communities rather than fester animosity.
The Irish soccer league experiences nothing like the violence which has plagued Polish soccer for years. Last year alone there were 8 violent deaths related to clashes between hostile fans from Krakow's leading clubs, Wisla Krakow and Cracovia Krakow. Furthermore, the Independent reports to the Irish public that
After one game, between Polonia and Legia, in April of last year, more than 1,300 riot police armed with CS gas and rubber bullets fought a running battle in the streets of Warsaw. A month later, Wisla and Legia fans were involved in another major riot, which may have involved as many as 5,000 fans, in Warsaw which left 54 Polish police officers injured, three seriously. A total of 12 hooligans were hospitalised and more than 200 fans were detained during the riot and 100 people required emergency medical treatment.So the cops in Ireland are certainly going to receive a mandate to put whatever security measures necessary in order to avoid scenes in Dublin similar to the surreal riot witnessed during the 'Love Ulster' parade two years ago. Of course, this was an entirely different scenario, but the fact that the cops were caught off-guard will not want to be repeated.