Sectarian chanting to be outlawed
The SDLP has secured a commitment from the justice minister to make sectarian chanting at sports matches illegal.
The move follows Irish Football Association condemnation after a YouTube posting showed a group of Northern Ireland fans singing sectarian songs after last week’s international in Dublin.
SDLP Justice Committee member Conall McDevitt has been calling on Minister David Ford to amend the Justice Bill before the Assembly to outlaw sectarian chanting at sports games since it was published last year.
The South Belfast MLA has welcomed the minister’s confirmation that he will bring forward an amendment this week.
“Last week’s event proves the need to make it illegal to make sectarian chants at sporting occasions. The actions of this small number of supporters will be roundly condemned by all sides.
“They undermine the good work that has been done by many in the IFA. Now that the law will be strengthened to outlaw sectarian chanting, in the future people behaving in this way will not just be on the wrong side of public opinion but also on the wrong side of the law,” he added.