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Gardai to keep close watch on Ireland-Poland game in case Polish and British neo-Nazi skinhead gangs cause trouble

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
The infamous 1995 riot at Lansdowne Road in which 20 people were injured
The infamous 1995 riot at Lansdowne Road in which 20 people were injured

Gardai will be keeping a close watch on tonight’s Ireland-Poland European Championship qualifying round in the Aviva Stadium in case Polish and British neo-Nazi skinhead gangs cause trouble.

The Sunday Independent reports that far-right groups associated with racist and anti-Semitic violence in the past year are heading for Dublin.

It states that gardai are concerned at the links between the Polish neo-Nazis and their British counterparts, Combat 18, who were behind the infamous 1995 riot at the Lansdowne Road venue in which 20 people were injured.

The 'friendly' match was abandoned after sustained rioting in which missiles were thrown on to the pitch.

Sports Against Racism Ireland (SARI) spokesman Ken McCue said he hopes the game goes ahead without incident, but urged gardai to ensure that no "offensive banners" are allowed into the match.

He told the Sunday Independent: "We hope that the game is not disrupted and goes ahead without incident. We are conscious of the fact that some supporters may intend carrying offensive banners into the ground. We have been in touch with our counterparts in Poland, Never Again, who are concerned about peopple trying to use the match for political reasons. We would call on the gardai to ensure no offensive banners or paraphernalia are allowed into the ground."

One of the main Polish neo-Nazi groups is said to have established links with British far-right groups and was responsible for a number of violent incidents in the past year, including an attack on a free music festival in north London last summer.