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Seven in court after "crazy" Irish Travellers "booze and beat" their way through Cologne: report

Over 400 Irish Travellers descended on Cologne for the Easter weekend – reportedly wreaking major havoc in the west German city.

"Young women in typical Tinker costumes at the Messeparkplatz. A total of 400 of the nomads stopped here," reads the caption on the website.

Updated, 10.20

SEVEN IRISH TRAVELLERS have appeared in court in the German city of Cologne – after hundreds “brawled and beat” their way through the city, according to local newspaper reports.

The 400-or-so “Irish” Travellers – travelling with “luxury cars” and 160 caravans, mostly with British registration plates  - descended on the city over Easter, camping out on the Messeparkplatz near the city centre.

Local reports claim they set out on a major pub crawl that left police having to chase them through the town for days.

German populist newspaper Bild said the carnage began with major brawling between the Travellers on the streets in the city-centre district of Deutz.

At the same time, some of the “Tinker women” (in Bild’s words) began a major drinking session in the famed ‘Gaffel Haus’ brewery-pub – but abandoned dirty nappies on the tables instead of paying their bill.

In the town’s Jameson pub, meanwhile, one Irishman reportedly openly snorted drugs – in full view of the rest of the pub’s patrons – while some of his companions destroyed two tables.

Several of the Travellers were ultimately arrested after police stormed the Shamrock Irish pub to interrupt another brawl that had broken out between some of the Irish. Bystanders became involved in the physical altercations, the Express reported, though German police told that they had not yet ascertained whether any locals had been injured.

A number of taxi drivers, meanwhile, had complained to police that Travellers had left their cabs without paying their fares.

Not all the police reports had yet been received, the police spokesman added, because of the sheer volume of Travellers that had descended on the city.

He added that some of the public order incidents had already been attributed to the Travellers, who were identified by what the spokesman called their “funny clothes”.

Around 100 police officers, meanwhile, were involved in operations to “hunt” the Travellers out of the city, from where they travelled north to the neighbouring town of Leverkusen.

Some of the Travellers remained in Cologne, however, after one of the travelling party died. German police this morning confirmed that the dead man, aged 37, had died of natural causes.

Press reports said that the Travellers had asked for permission to bring the corpse with them, but had been refused the request, and that it was anticipated that the man would be buried in the city.

The Travellers had been due to leave Leverkusen and travel elsewhere this morning, but the parking place they had used there – at the premises of pharmaceutical giant Bayer – had been abandoned by last night, the police spokesman added.

The story was filed under Bild’s ‘alcohol misuse’ section on its website.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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