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Justice Bill is good news for sports fans

David McNarry MLA has drawn attention to David Ford's new Justice Bill and argues that it gives disproportionate attention to, in his words, the "misbehaviour of working class Protestants at soccer games".

I would contend, however, that the Bill will present arguably more challenges to the GAA. The Bill will render it an offence to be inebriated at any sporting stadium.

With large numbers of youths to be found at practically every Ulster GAA Championship game each summer, clearly drunk to varying degrees of senselessness, causing annoyance to decent spectators, it is clear that the GAA (which has ignored this problem for years) is also going to be severely challenged by this new Justice Bill.

That's without even mentioning the large number of buses etc. ferrying supporters to and from major GAA games, with those on board consuming copious amounts of alcohol en-route - a practice which will also be outlawed by the new Bill.

If the new Justice Bill successfully addresses two major scourges in local sport - sectarianism and political chanting in local soccer and youth inebriation at major GAA games - it will do a great service to local sports fans in general.

TONY FEARON

Poyntzpass, Co Down

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