Glasgow & West Scotland

Council gives two marches go-ahead after Glasgow sectarian riot

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Media captionRoads were blocked as a result of the demonstrations

Glasgow City Council will allow two republican marches to take place a week after mass sectarian violence.

Organisers from Cairde Na Heireann and Friends of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) met with the council and police to assess the risks of further clashes.

Council bosses previously threatened to take action against marches to protect the public.

But chief executive Annemarie O'Donnell said options were "limited by law".

Last Friday another march, led by the James Connolly Republican Flute Band, set off from Elder Park, Govan, but was soon met by a counter demonstration of "several hundred people" from loyalist groups.

Govan Road was blocked by officers and the Govan subway station was closed for a short period.

Image copyright @JustShelbyMay

Witnesses reported the use of smoke bombs.

Two men were arrested, charged and released on bail following the incident. They are expected to appear again before Glasgow Sheriff Court on 1 October.

Ms O'Donnell branded the events "a disgrace" and met with organisers of Saturday's marches along with police officers in light of "radically-changed circumstances".

The council later announced it had decided not to call another processions committee, meaning the two marches can go ahead as planned.

Cairde na hEireann will assemble at 14:00 and march from Millroad Street in the city's east end, along the Gallowgate and finish at Clyde Street.

Meanwhile, Friends of IRPWA will begin their procession at 15:00 from Blythswood Square, head down to the Broomielaw, on to Trongate and finish At Barrowlands Park.

'Must not be repeated'

The council said police would continue to monitor circumstances and that the decision was "not final and could change in response to a change in circumstances".

Ms O'Donnell added: "The scenes we saw in Govan on Friday must not be repeated. However, the options open to Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland are limited, both by the law - people's right to march and protest - and by circumstance.

"At this time, I am satisfied that severely restricting or prohibiting Saturday's processions would not reduce the likelihood of further trouble and might place additional burdens on Police Scotland as they manage an already difficult situation.

"I understand that people may not agree with this decision, but after my discussions with the police I am convinced this presents the best chance of keeping people safe.

"Ultimately, the responsibility for ensuring that Saturday's marches are safe lies with the organisers and the protesters. They must commit themselves to behave in a way which will not further stretch the patience of their fellow Glaswegians."

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