St. Patricks Day gets ugly in Ireland

St. Patricks Day turned violent and deadly in Ireland on Tuesday, as drunken people rioted across the country, torched cars, and attacked emergency personel.

Officers of the Police Service of Northern Ireland donned full riot gear, including flame-retardant suits, to drive about 1,000 students from Queen’s University (the major college in Belfast) back into their rented red-brick homes.

The Irish Republic’s police commander, Commissioner Fachtna Murphy, said that [from last Friday through Tuesday night], police had arrested 346 suspected drunk drivers and 72 for dangerous driving, while eight people died in crashes.

The Dublin Fire Brigade said its officers were pelted with stones, cans and bottles in several public housing projects overnight as they dealt with 46 fires, mostly smashed-up cars that had been set ablaze.

Ambulance crews dealing with more than 200 emergency calls — including a dozen stabbings involving knives or broken bottles — said they also suffered physical and verbal abuse as they responded to booze-fueled bloodshed.

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