CORK North-Central TD Jonathan O’Brien said an incident where a bar full of Cork City fans were pepper sprayed in Poland was ‘completely unprovoked’.
It happened after City’s defeat in a Champions League qualifier when a group of supporters headed to the British Bulldog bar. Mr O’Brien was in Warsaw for the match and although he was not in the bar at the time, his son was.
“The Cork City fans did not get in trouble, the bar staff completely overreacted,” he said.
“It was the end of the night, the bar staff were asking people to leave and of course the lads were in high spirits and not drinking fast enough for the staff.
“They decided to clear the bar by issuing pepper spray in everyone’s direction — women and men, elderly and young. It was very upsetting.”
The bar management offered a different story, saying fans refused to leave and became abusive. Management shared pictures of damage they allege was caused by the fans and said repairs would cost 5,000 Polish Zloty (€1,100).
Mr O’Brien said any damage had come after the pepper spray, with people in considerable pain and some getting sick.
“Yes, one or two people did react and there was a window broken but that was it and that was after being pepper sprayed,” he said.
Other fans agreed, with one telling RedFM: “If they had given us another 20 minutes, everyone would have been gone and there’d have been no trouble.”
There was no police involvement in the incident and Mr O’Brien said Legia Warsaw supporters came to their visitors’ aid, getting them water and helping them recover.