The Ulster Unionist Party’s sports spokesperson, Leslie Cree MLA, has described the singing of an IRA song in a Dublin bar by the Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland as 'a disgrace.'
The North Down MLA said:
"I was absolutely shocked to learn that John Delaney, the Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland, has admitted to singing a pro-IRA song in a Dublin bar following the Republic’s recent international match against the USA. His actions were nothing short of a disgrace.
“It is completely unacceptable for anyone to engage in singing in praise of a violent terrorist organisation, let alone someone in a position such as his.
“I notice that a partial apology from Mr Delaney included the line ‘If the song offends anyone I’m sorry.’
“I can assure Mr Delaney that there is no ‘if’ about it. The song offends hundreds of thousands of people who lived their lives for decades under the threat of the bombs and guns of the IRA. It offends the 3,000 people who lost their lives as a result of the IRA’s futile campaign of violence in Northern Ireland.
“His claim that he was recorded “in a sly way” and that he did not agree with the song’s lyrics are quite frankly as credible as Gerry Adams’ claims that he was never a member of the IRA.
“Songs in support of terrorist organisations have no place in society. The FAI have a big decision to make as to whether or not it is wise to have this individual as the public face of their organisation.”