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02/05/2014
 
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 19-year old player, Joe Gorman, has been suspended by the club after suggesting on Twitter that all Orangemen should be shot.

British actor and Sky 1 journalist Ross Kemp, presented a documentary on political and sectarian conflicts in Northern Ireland in which he explained the situation of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. Gorman reacted violently and immaturely to the documentary tweeting a statement, which has gotten the youngster in a world of trouble. His tweet has been deleted and his Twitter account was deactivated in light of the controversy.

@JoeGorman32: Ross Kemp in Belfast talking about the troubles, wouldn't you just love to open up on all them orange men...

Gorman's tweet has caused such stir that people in the Twitter community are asking for his arrest. Club officials are very concerned with this event and are taking the necessary cautions to clean the organization's reputation.

Club chairman, Kenny Cameron, confirmed the player's suspension, adding that there is an internal disciplinary investigation still pending. 

Also see:
Celtic Fans Escape Punishment for Terrorist Banner
Celtic's 60,000-Seater Stadium to Host Cup Final


 
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02/04/2014
 

Scottish champions Celtic will not be punished over an "offensive" banner displayed at Parkhead, the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) announced on Tuesday.


The SPFL launched an investigation after fans held aloft a large 'H' symbol - representing the 'H' block at Northern Ireland's Maze Prison block in Belfast. The block held some of the most violent terrorists during a period referred to as the 'troubles' when extremists drawn from both sides of the province's sectarian divide resorted to violence to either force Northern Ireland into, or save it from joining, a United Ireland. 10 Irish Republicans died there in 1981 after a hunger strike where they demanded political status for their crimes. The 'troubles' ended in 1998 since which Northern Ireland has enjoyed years of peace.


As if displaying support for terrorists in foreign country in a war now long over was insufficient, the fans added insult by displaying it alongside lyrics derived from Scotland's national anthem Flower of Scotland, "they fought and died for their wee bit hill and glen". Scotland is currently pursuing a civil and democratic path to political independence and will hold a referendum on the issue in September 2014.


The 'H block' display came during Celtic's Scottish Premiership fixture against Aberdeen on November 23. However despite recent differing adjudications, the SPFL found no cause for a further punishment due to firm action taken by Celtic after another incident around the same time.


A spokesman for the league said: "The SPFL has concluded its investigation into the appearance of a large 'H' banner on 23 November 2013 during Celtic's home match against Aberdeen.


"SPFL regulations forbid 'words or conduct or displaying any writing or other thing which indicates support for, or affiliation to, or celebration of, or opposition to an organisation or group proscribed in terms of the Terrorism Act 2000'. The SPFL found that the banner was offensive and breached the SPFL's rules. However, Celtic FC were able to demonstrate that they had taken all reasonably practicable steps to prevent the banner being displayed at Celtic Park.


"As a result, it was determined that there was no evidence of any breach of the SPFL's rules by Celtic FC. The SPFL wishes to reiterate, for the avoidance of doubt, that any banners indicating support for, or affiliation to, or celebration of, or opposition to an organisation or group proscribed in terms of the Terrorism Act 2000 or are otherwise offensive, are not welcome at SPFL grounds."

 
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07/16/2013
 
Northern Irish police are fearful ahead of Celtic's Champions League match in riot-hit Belfast on Wednesday. The Scottish champions play Northern Irish champions Cliftonville, at Solitude in north Belfast, in the 1st leg of Champions League 2nd Qualifying Round.

Celtic were formed by an Irish Catholic priest and have traditionally drawn supporters from an Irish nationalist background while Cliftonville are one of the few clubs in Northern Ireland with nationalist fans. Police have also sought to allay any fears of violence on the night of the match due to the special relationship between both sets of fans. However, the Police Service of Northern Ireland have confirmed that more than 400 extra officers have been drafted in as they believe the game may be a target for loyalists. 

The Champions League clash comes as loyalist demonstrators continue to fight street battles with armed police officers after being banned from marching near a nationalist community. Three nights of rioting in Loyalist areas have stretched the resources of PSNI with reinforcements brought in from Great Britain over the weekend. July is notorious flash-point in Ireland as Protestant communities march throughout much of the North of Ireland to commemorate a historic victory over rival Catholic armies.

Celtic have never played a competitive match in Northern Ireland with Cliftonville and the PSNI doing all in their power to ensure a trouble free occasion. However, when the two teams contested a friendly at Solitude in 1984 the game was abandoned amid violent clashes after both sets of supporters united to confront police. Rubber bullets were fired by the police and over 20 people required hospital treatment for their injuries.

Celtic fans have been urged not to display strips or Irish tricolors until they arrive at the Solitude for the match. They have also been urged to take taxis or buses to the stadium to avoid wandering into loyalist areas. It is Celtic’s first competitive game of the new season and they will be seeking a huge improvement from their pre-season games where they lost all 4 games in Germany. 

 
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06/09/2013
 

"Wolves striker Liam McAlinden has become the latest player to switch allegiance from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland. The 19-year-old, who played for NI at youth level, follows players including James McClean to make the move."                                                                                                                                    BBC Sport, June 2nd 2013.

But why? why would a young lad, immersed in the youth set up in Northern Ireland, suddenly make them move to the association 100 miles south of Belfast? Furthermore, why is he not the first and why will he certainly not be the last?

Darron Gibson, Shane Duffy, Marc Wilson and Daniel Kearns also decided to play for the Republic after playing for Northern Ireland at youth level. What made them change their mind? 


Under the Good Friday Agreement, people born in Northern Ireland can claim either British or Irish nationality.


Previous rulings by FIFA and the Court of Arbitration have said that Northern Ireland-born players can opt to represent the Republic, provided they have not already played in a competitive international match. This has meant that some players who are trained and developed in the Northern Ireland youth set-up are lost to the national side.


There it is in black and white. Just as long as they haven't played a competitive game, they can process a passport in Dublin and represent the South. But what makes them do it?


Being a catholic Northern Ireland supporter has some drawbacks. First and foremost are the fans. The 'loyal' fans. Every home game at Windsor Park resembles a mini twelfth of July. The swathes of Union Jacks and friendly unionist banners, the bile, the aggression, the songs of sectarian hatred. Great place to mingle if you are a young catholic lad.


"Neil Lennon was forced to withdraw from Northern Ireland's team to face Cyprus on Wednesday after a reported death threat from a paramilitary group. Lennon was due to captain his country's team at Windsor Park in Belfast.  He withdrew on police advice following the threat made by telephone to the BBC earlier on Wednesday. The threat is believed to have come because Lennon is a Catholic and plays for Celtic."

BBC Sport - August 2002


Says it all really. Neil Lennon, great aggressive centre midfielder, singled out and threatened by his own supposed 'fans' because he was catholic and had the impudence of playing for Glasgow Celtic, the predominantly catholic, Scottish club.


There lies the real reason. Most young catholic players grew up thinking if you're catholic, NI does not want you. You're an outsider, a protestant team for protestant support. 


Now it would be foolish to say that all NI fans fall in to that category. Many fans hate the religious element that has been forged into the national side in Belfast. Paddy McCourt, the Celtic winger, has been lauded with his mazy, dribbling skills and flambuoyant finishing. But thats more of an isolated incident than a hope of unification. The scum always outshout the rational.


Windsor Park, home of Linfield, the predominantly Protestant football club in Belfast, situated in Donegall Ave, a protestant area of south Belfast. 'God save the Queen', the  British anthem used by Northern Ireland, unlike "Flower of Scotland" or "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" , passionate anthems sung by Scotland and Wales respectively.


But, unsurprisingly, IFA chiefs and local Unionist politicians hate the fact that any young lad declares for the Republic. "Injustice" is a word they like to use.


It is pure arrogance that IFA bosses think they can prevent a young Irish passport holder from playing for the Republic of Ireland. They even went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in an attempt to prevent players born in their jurisdiction opting for the Republic.


Exactly how they thought a sporting court can over-turn the Good Friday Agreement or a decision made by the British and Irish governments appears to defy rational logic. As is the implication that they can drag unwilling Catholics into a set-up that has vocal sections demanding they're mastered by an opposite sectarian hoard.


Northern Ireland just wasted their time with that insensitive, callous and counter-productive action, and have possibly driven future generations of young men from Northern Ireland who see themselves as Irish towards the Republic team.


That list will continue to grow.







 
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