Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Police probe into Inverness Caledonian Thistle player suspended over 'open up on Orangemen' tweet after Ross Kemp's Extreme World show

Inverness Caledonian Thistle player Joe Gorman
Inverness Caledonian Thistle player Joe Gorman

A footballer has been suspended by his club after appearing to suggest on Twitter that members of the Orange Order should be shot.

Scottish Police confirmed they are investigating the comments allegedly posted by Dublin-born Joe Gorman, who plays for Scottish Premiership side Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The remarks about Ross Kemp's Extreme World programme, which was filmed in Belfast, were tweeted from the former Republic of Ireland youth international's account on Tuesday night.

Gorman tweeted: "Ross Kemp in Belfast talking about the Troubles. Wouldn't you just love to open up on all them Orangemen."

The post was quickly deleted – but not before it was read by thousands of angry followers. Police Scotland confirmed it had received a report from a member of the public on the issue and would be conducting inquiries.

Yesterday Inverness CT confirmed Gorman had been suspended by the club pending an investigation into the comments.

Inverness chairman Kenny Cameron said: "As soon as we were made aware of the allegations, and following a discussion with the player, we confirm that he has been suspended pending a disciplinary investigation."

The matter has been brought to the attention of Scottish FA compliance officer Vincent Lunny, who will determine whether there has been a rule breach and if the player has a case to answer.

The Orange Order branded the comments "sickening".

A spokesman said: "The comment made by the player concerned was grotesque in the extreme. It is all the more sickening given terrorists who 'opened up' on our brethren have left 550 children from the Orange family without a father.

"We welcome the fact Inverness Caledonian Thistle has suspended the individual involved.

"However, given the grossly offensive nature of the electronic communication, we believe the matter should also merit a separate police investigation."

DUP MLA Peter Weir said the comments were "disgraceful".

"If the law is applied consistency then there needs to be action by the Scottish police," he said.

It is the latest row involving footballers on social media.

Wigan midfielder James McClean has been involved in several incidents. The Londonderry- born player temporarily closed his Twitter account after saying his favourite song was Irish rebel anthem, The Broad Black Brimmer.

Everton defender Shane Duffy had to apologise after he appeared to reply to and retweet a message from a fan saying "Up the Ra!". The Northern Ireland-born footballer, insisted that someone retweeted the message without his knowledge. He tweeted apologies.

PROFILE

Joe Gorman is a youth team footballer at Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The 19-year-old joined the Scottish Premiership side from Crewe Alexandra last summer on a free transfer. Gorman can play at either full-back or centre-half. At the time he signed he said: "I'm buzzing for the new season and cannot wait."

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