Video: UK football hooligans and Irish 'Casuals' brawl in Dublin city centre
UK soccer hooligans and Shamrock Rovers ‘Casuals’ fought a pitched battle with Bohs supporters – after a bizarre incident where a flag was stolen from a hotel.
These images show the mass brawl on Dorset Street last Friday, following Shamrock Rovers’ defeat to Bohemians at Dalymount Park.
A number of hooligans who travelled from the UK, who have links to both Irish clubs, were involved in the fight.
Tensions had been raised before the match when Wrexham fans – who have links to Bohs – went undercover and stole a flag left by Bury fans in a hotel in Tallaght. The Bury ‘crew’ are aligned to Shamrock Rovers and regularly travel to Dublin for games.
The Wrexham fans managed to get their hands on their rival’s flag by telling hotel staff they were there to collect it. The flag was subsequently ripped up during the match in Dalymount and eventually ended up in the hands of unwitting Bohs players.
Bohs and Rovers fans are known for having the most intense rivalry in Irish football. In recent years, fans from both clubs have also formed links with supporters of foreign teams.
Bohs fans have formed allegiances with supporters of Welsh team Wrexham AFC, while Rovers fans have formed links with supporters of English team Bury FC.
As a result, Wrexham and Bury fans have become a regular fixture at Rovers and Bohs games. While the vast majority are not involved in hooliganism, a small minority have been involved in a violent incidents.
Both Bohs and Rovers have also made huge efforts to stamp out hooliganism, and the problem is confined to a small minority of so-called fans.
Before the game, Bury fan Matt Ashworth posted a picture on Facebook captioned “Bury have landed, F**k the Bohs”, which showed a Bury flag being flown from the balcony of the Maldron Hotel in Tallaght beside Rover’s ground.
However, the move backfired after Bohs fans spotted the Facebook post and hatched a plan with Wrexham fans.
Undercover Wrexham fans pretending to be Bury fans managed to convince staff at the hotel to give them the flag.
The fans taunted the Bury support before ripping the flag.
A spokesman for Bohemians said: “The players didn’t know what the flag was when it went on the pitch.”