england vs ireland
Far-right England fans rioted in Dublin the last time England faced the Republic of Ireland in 1995BBC

England will take on the Republic of Ireland in Dublin for the first time since the fixture was abandonned in 1995, when hooliganism broke out in the stands.

The match will take place in 2015, 20 years after hardcore England fans used the match as a ruse to express right-wing hatred in ugly scenes reminiscent of football's dark days of the 70s and 80s.

The Lansdowne Road riots - as the violence became known - erupted after Ireland's David Kelly put the home side ahead, but by then the ground had already become a melting pot of extremism.

But the 12th minute goal, and a disallowed England strike, turned Lansdowne Road into a furnace.

Build up

Combat 18
Members of Combat 18 had made the trip to Dublin for the match

The English FA had allocated 1,600 tickets to the England Travel Club, fans who had been vetted by police for any football related convictions.

However members of Combat 18, a neo-Nazi group, and other far-right mobs travelled across the Irish Sea for the friendly match.

Supplied with tickets by touts, as kick off approached England's support swelled to more than 4,000.

Politics also played a part in the violence. Authorities claimed extreme right-wing groups from England had established links with pro-Ulster groups in Ireland and the two factions had been seen at each other's rallies.

Indeed, the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS ) had alerted the Irish to Combat 18's violent plans to cause trouble.


'No surrender to the IRA'

Many English fans at Lansdowne that night had an agenda nothing to do with football.

As the national anthems of each side were being played over the speakers, trouble was already brewing, with some Irish fans jeering God Save The Queen and some English fans heard chanting "Sieg Heil", "no surrender to the IRA", "Ulster is British", and giving the Nazi salute as Irish national anthem Amhrán na bhFiann was playing.

Irish fans desperate for tickets to the match were able to acquire them through touts outside the ground, which meant a volatile combination of both locals and English in the same stand.

Match abandoned

Kelly's goal was greeted by jubilation by the Green Army, both in the home and away ends of the ground, while England fans resorted to hurling missiles.

Minutes later when David Platt's equalising goal was ruled out, English mobs started hurling debris including splintered wood towards the Irish.

Dutch Referee Dick Jol immediately stopped the game and as the players left the field, Jack Charlton, the Irish manager and 1966 England World Cup winner, received a barrage of "Judas" shouts from travelling fans.

The match abandoned, Irish police evacuated all but the 4,000 English fans, some of whom were left bloodied after clashing with baton-wielding officers.

In total, 20 people were injured and 40 arrests were made during the chaos.

england vs ireland
England fans were blamed for starting violence unprovoked during the friendly in 1995.Reuters


Prime Minister John Major said the events were a "disgrace and an embarrassment" while England manager Terry Venables and Charlton condemned the fans' actions.

An official inquiry by the former chief justice of Ireland Thomas Finlay concluded the violence was caused solely by English fans but blame was also placed upon the the Irish police for refusing assistance from the NCIS in Britain and failing to act on information about Combat 18 travelling to Ireland.