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Ulster Unionist hits out at ‘sectarian chants’ during Armagh Camogie team celebrations

An Armagh city councillor has hit out at a video purporting to show members of the victorious Armagh Camogie team involved in pro-IRA chanting following their All-Ireland success over the weekend.

Ulster Unionist Councillor Sam Nicholson said he was disgusted at “sectarian chants clearly audible during Armagh Camogie team celebrations” following their win over Cavan.

“There is no doubt this was a great sporting achievement by the team and it deserved an evening of celebrations by the team who had just recorded an historic win in Cavan,” said Councillor Nicholson.

“However, the blatant glorification of terrorism which was broadcast across social media in the celebrations that followed sends out a very negative message to not only the Unionist community, but anyone who has been affected by IRA terrorism throughout the Troubles.

“It is particularly disappointing because the pro IRA chants which clearly glorify terrorism were being made by players who are so young and clearly have no thoughts or empathy for the victims of terrorism or the offence they would cause.

“The Ulster Unionist Party wishes to build a genuinely shared future which is underpinned by tolerance, respect and understanding. The sight of a young sports team celebrating the bloody deeds of the IRA after a sporting event is about as far away from tolerance, respect and understanding as it is possible to get.

“Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. In July 2019 members of the Tyrone Men’s team were seen on social media hurling sectarian abuse at accordion bands in Aughnacloy and in September 2020 footage emerged of pro IRA chanting following Dungannon Clarkes’ success in the Tyrone County final. To this we can now add the shameful scenes from Armagh’s camogie success. This is totally unacceptable and disgraceful behaviour and presents the GAA with yet another example of how there is something sinister within the sport that goes far beyond a mere image problem.

“I genuinely hope the GAA authorities were listening and realise the need to take decisive action. There is little point in the GAA lining up alongside the football and rugby authorities to promote sport in Northern Ireland, trying to pretend all is well. The GAA need to stamp out the glorification of terrorism within their own sport, once and for all.”

Armagh Camogie, in a statement, refuted the claims.

“What they were singing was up Armagh. Armagh County Camogie are a sporting body and do not associate ourselves with any political organisation,” said a County Camogie spokesperson.

Ulster Camogie said it had been “made aware of alleged inappropriate behaviour after the All-Ireland Junior Championship final on Saturday, December 5.

“We have referred the matter to the Camogie Association and have no further comment at this time.”

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