Arrested Ireland fans released

Three Irish men arrested over vandalism in a bar in Poznan have been released in time to watch Ireland’s opener against Croatia.

Arrested Ireland fans released

Three Irish men arrested over vandalism in a bar in Poznan have been released in time to watch Ireland’s opener against Croatia.

The trio were detained around the same time as 10 Polish and one Croat man were taken into custody after violence broke out in the Stary Rynek part of town.

It is understood the Irish men were with a large group of people from other countries when bottles, glasses and a lamp were smashed in a bar in the old market square.

It was described as pre-match celebrations getting out of hand.

Dozens of riot police were dispatched to the square to restore order at around 3am today after fighting broke out among a small number of fans.

There was further minor clashes between some Polish and Croat fans and riot police were deployed a second time.

The Mayor of Poznan Ryszard Grobelny attempted to play down the incident.

“This is an isolated incident. This kind of incident is not unusual with a gathering of this size and the fans’ behaviour has normally been excellent,” he said.

Mr Grobelny insisted that the police action stopped the violence spreading.

“I would not want to see any incidents of this kind happening. But when you have thousands of fans and many litres of beer drunk these incidents are sadly inevitable,” he added.

The three Irish men were detained on suspicion of public order offences, vandalism and damage to property.

Elsewhere in the square where wider trouble broke out, flares were set off and chairs and tables overturned.

It is understood that some of the Polish men detained were followers of the Lech Poznan football team.

Fans on the scene at the time reported that the trouble lasted about half an hour while officials said that the disturbances lasted only several minutes. There were at least 20,000 Irish people in Poznan last night.

The mayor said that on the first day of the tournament, about 47,000 people attended the fanzones in the city and no arrests were made.

Several fans were removed from the square on the opening night of Euro 2012 as a small number of Polish fans clashed.

Staff from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs stationed in Poznan have been notified that the three Irish men had been detained.

Consular officials were told no charges have been brought but investigations are continuing.

Elsewhere, two Irish fans were detained off a flight into the city on Friday after staff on the plane reported them for disorderly and abusive behaviour.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said that most of the consular work over the last week has been dealing with lost or stolen wallets or travel documents and problems people had with either unopened or unfinished campsites.

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