A DUP MP has told Sunderland player James McClean to stick to football after the controversial winger revealed his favourite song is a Republican folk song.
A post on the Twitter account of the Londonderry-born Sunderland and Republic of Ireland player professed his love for The Broad Black Brimmer — written by Noel Nagle of the Wolfe Tones.
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said if McClean continues with his “contentious” comments, Kilrea-born club manager Martin O'Neill should tell him to pack his bags. The tweet appeared on his account on Friday.
McClean wrote: “On flight for the maras (tomorrow’s) game. Only one thing for it —headphones in, Wolfe Tones on! What’s everyone’s fave song? Broad Black Brimmer edges mine.”
The song tells of a boy whose father is killed while fighting for the IRA, with the title referring to the wide-brimmed hat worn by many of the group's members in the 1920s during the War of Independence and civil war.
One verse refers to “a holster that’s been empty many a day... (but not for long), and when men claim Ireland’s freedom, the one they’ll choose to lead them, will wear the broad black brimmer of the IRA.”
Last night Mr Campbell called on the Premier League side to investigate the latest comments.
“As someone playing football at a professional level for Sunderland, McClean should be an example to young people,” he said.
“It is obviously up to his manager... to decide what course of action to take now.
“Three simple words should suffice — stick to football. If he doesn't heed this then a final three words should be given — pack your bags.”
The 23-year-old’s comments on Twitter have previously prompted Martin O’Neill to ban him from the site.
Earlier this month McClean said he was unaffected by the abuse he receives and it would “only make (him) play better”.
McClean and Sunderland football club were unavailable for comment last night.
He may have closed his Twitter account, but James McClean is unlikely to be any more popular amongst Northern Ireland fans after suggesting that any Catholic "would be lying" if they claimed to feel comfortable lining out as a home player in Windsor Park.