NewsCrime Desk

Organised brawl between two girls believed sparked by online row

Brawl: The two 14-year-old girls fighting in the city centre
Brawl: The two 14-year-old girls fighting in the city centre

The brawl between two schoolgirls that drew hundreds of teens to Belfast City is believed to have been sparked by an online row over loyalist killer Michael Stone.

Hundreds of youngsters organised themselves into a circle Sunday evening as two 14-year-old girls line up to savagely beat each other.

Encouraged by the crowd, one of the girls had a friend help her tie her long hair back before lunging over and repeatedly punching the other girl while taking a number of vicious blows herself.

It is understood the fight between the two 14-year-olds developed after one posted comments on social media defending notorious loyalist killer Michael Stone.

One of the teenage girls involved in the shocking brawl arranged online is thought to be related to the convicted murdered, who in 1988 killed three people and injured more than sixty in the Milltown Cemetery attack.

The other is thought to come from the staunchly nationalist Lenadoon area of west Belfast.

The girls lash out, initially trying to land blows to the face, then punching each other across the chest and stomach, and grabbing each other's hair, before one yanks the other by the hair through the crowd to enthusiastic cheering.

A number of other girls appear to get involved before the fight breaks up as they hear police are on their way.

An estimated 200 youngsters were in the crowd on Castle Street in Belfast city centre on Sunday evening cheering after the fight, and it is understood some were as young as 11. 

The fight was believed to have been arranged on a social media website for 5pm.

Police arrested two 14-year-old girls for disorderly behaviour, and a spokesman said they would be reported to the Youth Diversion Officer.

A 37-year-old man was also arrested for possession of an offensive weapon.

This is the latest in a series of pre-arranged fights, which seem to be a growing trend during the school holidays.

PSNI Chief Inpector Robert Murdie warned that someone would end up getting seriously hurt if arranged fights continued."We would urge young people not to get involved in this type of behaviour," he said.

Mr Murdie warned that fights may start off between two people but can quickly escalate, and the "potential for serious injury cannot be underestimated".

"Younger children in particular could find themselves being drawn into a situation that is potentially very dangerous," he said.

Rebecca Black, Belfast Telegraph