A dissident Republican has attempted to defend threats made on the internet to X factor hopeful Eoghan Quigg.
Republican SF spokesman Richard Walsh also said the Dungiven teenager’s parents were to blame for letting him record the Hero single.
But, in an interview with the Sunday Life, the 16-year-old’s father Chris said: “He’s in a singing competition. If the song is for the Army, so be it.”
The teen bravely shrugged off the internet threats on Saturday night’s show to impress the judges with his rendition of Barry Manilow’s Could It Be Magic.
Walsh, a campaigner for Continuity IRA prisoners, has called for a boycott of the Help for Heroes single, Hero, which was produced to raise funds for British soldiers.
It hit the No 1 spot yesterday after selling over 100,000 copies on the first day of its release, but that good news was overshadowed by threats to Eoghan from diehard republicans on an internet website.
One message read: “Lives at risk as X-Factor used to glorify Brit Army. This could put Dungiven hurler Eoghan Quigg in a tough position as he now has to sing for British troops.”
Walsh said: “Eoghan is only a young fella, but I can understand why people are upset about his decision to appear on a song which honours the British war machine.
“I’m concerned this decision could be a problem for him and his family. I just wish his family would have been more responsible when allowing their son to participate in this song.”
Eoghan’s father Chris accused bigots of trying to destroy his son’s singing dream.
“We’ve lived through the Troubles but Eoghan was born in 1992 — he’s far too young to know anything about this.”