Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# Looking Back
How the media reacted to the 1995 Lansdowne Riot
England play the Boys in Green on Irish soil for the first time in 20 years on Sunday.

1. RTÉ Live Coverage

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JOHN GILES SYMPATHISED with the authorities to a degree, arguing that people who want to cause trouble will cause trouble, but questioned why it was ill-advisedly arranged so that the hooligans ended up sitting above the Irish fans, leaving the home supporters exposed to the torrent of debris. Meanwhile, fellow panellist Joe Kinnear lamented how “decent people have had to suffer on the back of 200 lunatics”.

2. Channel 4

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Channel 4 did an investigation of the “political undertones” of the violence that occurred at Lansdowne Road on the night.

3. Sky News

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Adam Boulton hosted a phone-in show on Sky News, with Eamon Dunphy featuring and attacking the “culture” within football that, he believed, had influenced the trouble.

4. BBC

BBC’s Sportsnight gave in-depth coverage to the event, with panellist Jimmy Hill describing hooliganism as a “disease of our society”.

5. The Independent

The paper’s report at the time described the night’s events and questioned whether more could have been done to prevent them from occurring:

“Questions were being raised last night over the security precautions at the ground. The police intelligence unit in London that monitors football hooligans said that it had been in contact with the Gardaí before the match and had been expecting trouble from the England fans.”

6. RTÉ News

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The RTÉ News report focused primarily on the welfare of the Irish supporters and the damage that had been done to the stadium.

7. The front pages

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The British papers were unanimous in their condemnation of the violence, with speculation that England could lose the right to host the upcoming 1996 European Championships as a result.

8. Journalist Henry Winter

Reporting on the game at the time, Winter later recounted his memories of the night in an interview with Newstalk:

“I was just sitting there sort of writing the usual football correspondent embarrassed piece about yet more shameful behaviour by the English hooligans, although this clearly had an extra political part to it, and this England fan ran over and started shouting at me and a couple of the other journalists that he recognised. He said ‘we didn’t start it’. We were on deadline and you don’t really argue with nutters like that usually but we said ‘listen, you clearly did’ because the atmosphere had been really good before that and then the England fans triggered it. He said ‘you’re wrong, you’re wrong’, turned, ran away, and kicked a police dog on the way, which kind of undermined his argument.

“It was an embarrassing night from the England fans’ perspective. I thought it was an embarrassing night from the English Football Association’s perspective too because if you go to someone’s house and trash the place, you apologise immediately — and they didn’t.”

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