Should encroaching on the pitch become a criminal offence in future?

Neil O'Riordan, Oisin Langan, Richie McCormack and Raf Diallo discuss on Newstalk's Airtricity League podcast

BY Raf Diallo 19:29 Wednesday 20 April 2016, 19:29 20 Apr 2016

Members of the Gardai hold back Bohs' fans ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Unfortunately for the League of Ireland, the biggest talking point from the past week's action has not been about the actual football.

Instead, the crowd trouble which marred the Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers derby has overshadowed everything else to a degree, even though it is a rarity to see scenes like Friday's.

On this week's Newstalk Airtricity League podcast with Oisin Langan and Richie McCormack, The Sun's Neil O'Riordan and I joined the lads to reflect on what occurred and what can be learned.

Neil gave his take on how future incidents can be dealt with to cut out the type of scenes we saw last Friday.

"I think more can be done in terms of banning supporters. But there is an issue that some people do come out of the woodwork just for this fixture and cause trouble who aren't ordinarly there. So it's difficult to ban somebody who isn't generally there anyway.

"[Shamrock Rovers manager] Pat Fenlon made an interesting point after the game. He just said, 'listen, it has to be made a criminal offence to encroach onto the pitch. That's the way it is in Britain and it acts as a deterrent.'

"The only problem with making pitch encroachment a criminal offence as was pointed out to me was you would have every GAA supporter in the country with a criminal record." 

Plus WLR's Matt Keane also looked back on the legacy of the 1980 Cup win of Oisin's hometown Waterford United, 36 years on.

You can listen in to this week's Airtricity League podcast or stream on iTunes


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