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Without football offences laws, Northern Ireland could become a hooligan's paradise

April 7, 2008 3:09 PM

After the revelation that English neo-Nazi thugs were part of the gang who cut the throat of a Celtic fan last weekend, Alliance MLA Kieran McCarthy has stated we need laws similar to the Football Offences Act implemented here to stop Northern Ireland becoming a hooligan's paradise. Kieran McCarthy MLA has demanded answers as to why laws to combat sports hooliganism have not yet been implemented in Northern Ireland. It was the Alliance Party that raised the matter in the Assembly last September, but no progress has been made since then.

Kieran McCarthy MLA said: "Northern Ireland must not be allowed to become a hooligan's paradise. Because Northern Ireland does not have football offences-style laws, similar to those which exist elsewhere in the UK, hooligans can come here and attend matches and nothing can be done about it.

"This is a total disgrace and this revelation should be sending shockwaves through the Assembly. The Executive have failed to apply pressure on the Secretary of State to create the necessary laws to tackle these thugs.

"Why is Northern Ireland left as the poor relation in the UK when it comes to spectator safety? Local supporters hate these thugs and want them stopped from going to matches and starting trouble.

"Police need these laws introduced so that they can ensure that the few thugs who want to wreck things for everyone else can be caught and excluded.

"Last September, the Assembly supported Alliance's lead for such laws to be implemented here urgently. The public must be told why no progress has been made on this issue since then."

ENDS

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