Who Caused The Trouble at Lansdowne Road in 1995?

8 Jun

115114

I’ll explain that title later on.

So, the long-awaited and much hyped Ireland v England rematch at Lansdowne Road passed off peacefully (as of 24 hours after I haven’t read any reports of trouble anyhow) and a rousing ballad session in The Grand Canal Hotel afterwards saw both sets of fans enjoying the day, even if the hosts outstayed the visitors in terms of stamina!

On the pitch, a scoreless draw was probably about right as a decent enough first half went the usual way end of season friendlies go when both teams were diluted with subs in the second. England’s second half chances had almost a sense of “we better not score and upset our hosts” feel, while the Irish fans willed their charges on to score against the English, a goal that is always celebrated with more fervour and longer memory than goals against other opposition. It wasn’t to be for the Irish fans on the day. Alot wasn’t to be for Irish fans on the day and this is the main thrust of this blog today.

I wrote last November about John Delaney and the Irish fans
https://irelandfaneuro2012.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/why-im-finished-going-to-ireland-home-games/. Things appear to be getting worse.

The bullying and paranoia continued yesterday at Section 114 of the South Stand of Lansdowne Road (I’ll never call it the sponsor’s name). A few examples here from Irish fans, fans of impeccable character who have travelled to every corner of the globe spending their money following the team they love but getting sick and tired of this treatment in their own stadium.

Alan: Had a suit-clad person and two stewards stand in front of my seat during the half time break, suit told me it was his job to ensure no anti-FAI/Delaney protest banners were produced. The three stooges left during the second half.

Barry: Section 114 was primarily singled out and cordoned off by stewards to search everbody’s bags. (See photos of Section 114 and 115 above, 2o metres apart).  Other sections either side of 114 were not subject to the same or any scrutiny. The food area of 114 at half time was awash with stewards getting instructions in dealing with “the best fans in the world” who again were prevented from making a justifiable and utterly peaceful protest. The FAI are building and dismantling the stadium at the same time. The team deserves our support and we in turn deserve the chance to support the team. Lads who raised over €3000 voluntarily to get flags and banners for the South Stand are not renewing season tickets.

Pauric: Showed my ticket at the turnstile and was then requested to remove my jacket before being searched. Got into seat and no hassle in the 1st half. Then the “Delaney out” banner appeared and could see extra security come in.

I left 114 with exactly 2 minutes left in the 1st half to go to the toilet. As I left could see a large number of the security in the orange bibs standing at the entrance of 114 being given instructions by some man in an FAI blazer.

When I got back into area I was standing, I noticed the extra security was flanked either side of 114 similar to the USA game. The “Delaney out” banners appeared again and a member of the FAI and 2 members of security enter our row of seats to try remove it. These 2 members of security then proceeded to stand in our row of seats for the remainder of the game which to me was them trying to intimidate people in 114.

Brian: Had a nondescript, non-protest Ireland flag taken down during the game. Was told it wasn’t “registered”.

Since when did flags have to be registered at an Ireland game? Were England fans obliged to register their flags? I think we know the answer to that one.

So there you have it from only four fans. Bags searched for “offending” flags (that don’t contravene stadium regulations), stewards and suits moving into only one stadium area to keep track of peaceful protests from Irish fans and making them feel like troublemakers and removal of run of the mill flags for not being “registered”. This is the first I heard that flags needed to be registered. I thought the only problem with flags in this country was in the Six Counties. How naïve of me.

Then when the game was over, Section 114 exit was again surrounded by stewards flanking exiting fans as if they were descendants of the people who wrecked Lansdowne Road 20 years previously.

Hence the title of my blog. I doubt very much English fans were subject to the level of searching, scrutiny, invasion of baggage/clothes, confiscation of flags (offensive or otherwise) and utter paranoia as Irish fans in Section 114 were. One is left wondering who actually caused trouble in 1995 given the attention given to the “best fans in the world” yesterday.

John Delaney went on radio last November saying he didn’t have a problem with fans protesting. So why is he demonstrating the complete opposite yesterday and last November at the USA game at the same venue in the same Section 114?

The only “troublemakers” at yesterday’s game were the stewards, clearly acting on instructions from Abbotstown. It’s shameful, pathetic, needless and embarrassing. All the good work done in recent years with Singing Sections, colour, atmosphere, away trips and the exemplary behaviour, monies raised for charities, all this is being completely crushed by an administration and CEO who wouldn’t look out place in North Korea.

The clock is ticking on your hypocrisy, misleading of the public and bullying John.

Stand Down for The Boys In Green.

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