Monday, 11 June 2012

Eire's 'sectarian supporters'

The Eire football team got off to a poor start in Euro 2012  with a 3:1 defeat and off the pitch some Eire supporters have also got off to a bad start.

Video footage on You-Tube shows supports of the Irish Republic, wearing their national colours and  singing 'IRA' and 'F--- the Queen' on the streets of Krakow.  In the video six fans are initially involved but they meet up with another thirty outside a bar and they join in as well.  The offensive lyrics are incorporated into The Fields of Athenry.  In a second video clip around twenty Eire football supporters shout 'IRA!'

In February 2011 a small group of Northern Ireland supporters were heavily criticised when they engaged in sectarian singing after a match against Scotland in Dublin's Aviva Stadium.  At that time I was the Sports Minister in Northern Ireland and I can well remember being interviewed about the incident. 

So what will the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) say and even more important, what will they do about the incidents in Krakow?  Will the Eire sports minister be interviewed in the same way that I was interviewed?  What will the media in the Irish Republic say about it?

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