City-wide nightclub ban for Celtic star Derek Riordan

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FORMER Hibs star Derek Riordan has been banned from every nightclub in Edinburgh.

The 25-year-old Celtic striker was handed a one-year ban under the Unight scheme after he allegedly verbally abused staff at the Berlin club when they refused him entry.

Within weeks, it is understood he was caught breaking the ban by entering the Espionage club – causing his ban to be extended to two years.

Bosses at Celtic today refused to comment on the ruling, calling it a "personal matter".

But Pc Mark Pickavance, who helped set up the Unight scheme, confirmed the player, who is from Granton, was among those handed a banning order from Edinburgh nightspots.

He said: "Riordan was banned for a year after an altercation with door stewards outside Berlin. That was increased to two years after he tried to get into Espionage."

The incident outside Berlin in Queensferry Street Lane led to the ban being imposed in May this year. Only a few weeks later, he was caught in Espionage.

Steven McLaren, a manager at Espionage, who was on duty the night of the incident, said: "Riordan managed to get into the club at about 11pm but one of the bar staff saw him and knew he was banned.

"Our door stewards approached him to ask him to leave and they got a mouthful of abuse. He was going on about how they thought they were 'big men' because they wanted him out. He claimed the ban had been served but we knew that wasn't the case.

"It went on for a few minutes but he left before he had to be ejected. We don't want him in Espionage.

"We stick very strictly to the Unight scheme for the protection of staff and customers. It's a great scheme."

Riordan signed for Celtic in June 2006 after scoring 64 goals in 146 appearances for Hibs, but has failed to make an impact at Parkhead.

He has been involved in a series of incidents in recent years, which include appearances in court.

He was found not guilty after trial of involvement in a brawl outside Biddy Mulligans in the Grassmarket in December, 2006.

In July 2005, Hibs star Steven Fletcher suffered a broken nose while he was out with several team-mates, including Riordan. They became caught up in a brawl at Bar 38 in George Street which involved up to 30 people.

Riordan was charged with breach of the peace in December 2004 after it was alleged he shouted and swore at police breaking up a fight between revellers in Lothian Road. But he was again found not guilty.

Riordan could not be contacted for comment today, but his grandmother May Riordan, who lives in Granton, said she could not believe he had been hit with the ban. She added: "I could be wrong, as grandmothers only hear the good stuff, but that's not like him. He's a quiet lad and not a fighter. I've not heard anything about this.

"You always hear about trouble in nightclubs, but he wouldn't be part of that."

UNITED AGAINST TROUBLEMAKERS

DEREK RIORDAN is one of 130 people to be hit with banning orders ranging from three months to life since the Unight scheme was launched in October.

The project has been hailed a "great success" by police and club owners who believe it has driven down crimes inside nightspots in the Capital.

The number of crimes reported in clubs between October and July fell to 936 against 1185 for the same period for the previous year.

Cabaret Voltaire reported a drop from 111 to 29, Lava and Ignite went down from 177 to 115, while Subway decreased from 46 to 21.

Twelve people have been given lifetime bans, including Don Webley, 26, who became the first person to receive one after being jailed for ten months for a vicious assault outside City in Market Street.

Pc Mark Pickavance said: "Unight has been a great success. We've seen a significant drop in crimes reported inside clubs and we're keeping troublemakers out."