SNARLING neds launched into a violent gang-fight during yesterday’s Orange walk in Glasgow.

More than 100 police officers swooped at the flashpoint and waded in to stop the thugs battering each other.

The fight is thought to have been organised ahead of the march online by rival gangs from Drumchapel and Possilpark.

Last night Orange Order grandmaster Ian Wilson insisted: “They are hooligans and have absolutely NOTHING to do with the Orange Order.

“We wholeheartedly condemn anti-social behaviour.

“Today was a success and I would like to thank the police for acting so swiftly to quell the problem.”

Around 30 teenage hooligans from Drumchapel met 40 rivals from the tough Possilpark estate for the pre-arranged fight.

The two factions started fighting at 12.45pm, just minutes after the parade involving 8,000 Orangemen had ended in Glasgow Green.

Bare-chested sozzled thugs aimed kicks at each other, punching and wrestling each other to the ground.

Police in vans, on horseback, and foot patrol rushed to separate the two groups as the rumpus broke out.

Four men were arrested – one was allegedly carrying an offensive weapon – and they are expected to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court tomorrow. No one required hospital treatment. A police source said last night: “There were thousands of people on Glasgow Green, we couldn’t compromise their safety. We think they arranged the fight on the internet but we nipped it in the bud.”

One eyewitness said: “All these lads appeared out of nowhere.

“They were shouting abuse at each other, then I saw a policeman who was standing nearby get on his radio – the next thing I knew, there were scores of cops running through the park to get to the scene.

“The lads were knocking lumps out of each other, it was a pitched battle. A lot of the lads ran away and the cops restored some order.”

The parade, which attracted marchers from Glasgow’s 182 Orange lodges and musicians from 90 flute bands as well as Orangemen from Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Edinburgh and Northern Ireland, began with senior members of the Orange Order laying a wreath at the Cenotaph, George Square.

Police make an arrest

Commemorating the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation, the walk was watched by 15,000 spectators and policed by 1,400 officers. A total of 34 arrests were made during the event, with more than 60 fixed penalty notices for breach of the peace, street drinking and urinating in public.

Assistant Chief Constable Fiona Taylor of Strathclyde Police said: “I’d like to thank the Orange Order for their co-operation. There are still, however, far too many people who use this day as an excuse to drink heavily and behave poorly.”

Three arrests were made in Greenock yesterday as more than 2,000 people from 78 lodges in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire marched in the city.

Published date on the 4th of July 2010
Article taken from the News of the World