Cops dismiss Rovers fans Brandywell safety claims

Fears that the Brandywell is not safe for visiting football fans have been dismissed by police in Derry.

Shamrock Rovers fans have cancelled a number of supporter buses which had been booked to travel to tonight’s game at the Brandywell.

In a statement six of the Dublin club’s supporters’ groups said that decision “comes on the back of several clearly premeditated attacks in the recent past on Shamrock Rovers supporters’ buses in and around the Brandywell, which remains a no-go area for the local police.”

But a PSNI spokeswoman says there is no “major crowd/hooligan issues associated with Derry City Football Club”, and dismissed claims the Brandywell is a no-go area for police.

“The PSNI has close contact with both the local council and the club in relation to all aspects of event planning, indeed it is in our mind right and proper that Derry City has primacy in managing and stewarding its own football matches.

“This system works very well and there has been no significant disorder in recent years. The PSNI has an operational presence at significant football matches and ensures the safety of visiting football supporters and where appropriate can escort buses and prevent incident like stoning. It is important to note that the PSNI have no intelligence at this stage to suggest there would be any threat against visiting fans or their buses.”

The spokeswoman says the PSNI have not had any contact from Shamrock Rovers or their fans.