Friday, May 1, 2009

Celtic slop house closed for sectarian singing and fighting

A PORT Glasgow pub’s drink licence was suspended yesterday after alleged rioting at the premises, including one incident after an Old Firm game.

Inverclyde Licensing Board took the action against Monty’s Bar following a complaint by police. The premises in Bay Street were badly damaged by fire last month.

A letter from Strathclyde Police was read to the board detailing two incidents in March. Around 1.20am on Sunday 8 March, a large number of customers from the bar were involved in a large-scale disturbance in John Wood Street. Ten people were arrested for mobbing and rioting. Two reported serious assaults are also being investigated.

Later that week, the bar’s manager informed police that a ‘rebel-oke’ was to take place at Monty’s on Sunday 15 March after the CIS Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic and that they expected the premises to be very busy. As a result, the clerk to the licensing board advised the licensee to cancel the ‘rebel-oke.’

Around 11.40pm on Sunday 15 March police became aware of a disturbance within Monty’s. Inside they were met by several customers who were drunk and confrontational. The floor was wet, with a large amount of broken glass and blood-staining.

Police established there were only two members of staff and no door stewards. Officers felt the staff were not in control and decided to close the pub on public safety grounds.

Police became aware of patrons trying to leave with alcohol and, while trying to prevent this, an officer suffered a large cut to his hand from a smashed glass when a man struggled with him.

Following the incident, police are investigating an alleged assault, culpable and reckless conduct and two people were reported for riotous behaviour.

The Chief Constable took the view that the incidents were because of a lack of experienced staff and no stewarding.

No one was at the board meeting on behalf of Monty’s. The board was told that a "rebel-oke" was "sectarian chanting or singing"

The licence was suspended until 1 September, when the licence expires. Board chairman David Wilson said: "We are unanimous in our decision.

"This will send out a message that we are not going to tolerate it and if we are told by police it is happening elsewhere we will act."

Robert Moran said "I would like to see the chairman and police superintendent write to licensed premises across Inverclyde saying that we expect the highest standards.

"We need to send out a clear message that we expect well staffed premises with enough stewards when Old Firm games are being televised."
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