Memorial benches in George Square smashed for second time as thousands descend for Rangers title party


Memorial benches in George Square were trashed for a second time in a matter of months by marauding Rangers fans during Saturday night’s title party.

We told how the city centre area was left ‘like a warzone’ with broken bottles and litter after supporters fought running battles with cops as thousands celebrated their side lifting their first Premiership title in a decade.

In March there were similar scenes after the Light Blues officially won the title, with benches dedicated to the fallen in the square wrecked amid massive celebrations.

Kind hearted supporters of the Ibrox side chipped in thousands to replace them after the last incident.

But now despite efforts of council bosses in the clean-up, benches have again been broken and some plants will have to be replaced because glass is buried so deep.

The costs of the work is currently unknown.

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken tweeted: “I got a chance to say hi and thank you to some of the @GlasgowCC clean-up team in George Square this morning.

“The transformation they’ve achieved from the carnage of last night is heroic. But the turf and bedding plants will have to be replaced because of ground-in glass.”

Businessman Brian Inkster tweeted how gutted he was that the benches had again been destroyed.

He wrote: “Very sad to see again this morning (like I did on 8 March) the destruction of park benches (including memorial ones) in #GeorgeSquare from yesterday.

“Some of these were given to the people of #Glasgow by families dedicated to the memory of their loved ones.”

Five cops were injured, some seriously, after thugs pelted officers with explosives and other items during running battles around the square.

Violence spilled out onto surrounding streets with a horrific attack caught on camera of a man being punched and kicked.

It is estimated some 15,000 swarmed into the city centre, with many gathering outside Ibrox during Ranger’s game against Aberdeen.

Police and Rangers bosses had issued stern warnings against any gatherings which are banned due to coronavirus legislation.

The rate of infection is higher than in other parts of Scotland with only Glasgow and Moray remaining in a higher tier of restrictions.

George Square was trashed by Rangers fans
George Square was trashed by Rangers fans

The ugly scenes on Saturday night drew widespread condemnation from police and senior politicians.

A statement from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon read: “”I’m understandably inundated with messages about y’day’s disgraceful scenes in Glasgow.

“Police still have a job to do, which restrains my comments to some extent – but to say I’m utterly disgusted by the Rangers fans who rampaged through the city would be an understatement…

“I’m also angry on behalf of every law abiding citizen. In normal times, the violence & vandalism, and the vile anti Catholic prejudice that was on display, would have been utterly unacceptable.

“But mid-pandemic, in a city with cases on the rise, it was also selfish beyond belief.

“People across the country still living under the most difficult restrictions – not able to see family or attend weddings and funerals – are rightly furious at the irresponsible actions of a thuggish minority who seem to care little for the risks they pose to other people.”

Police have promised there will be more arrests to come.

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