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JD Sports 'unaware' of Northern Ireland shirt model's republican tattoo

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From left: the Northern Ireland training shirt and the model’s mis-spelt ‘tiocfaidh ar la’ tattoo

From left: the Northern Ireland training shirt and the model’s mis-spelt ‘tiocfaidh ar la’ tattoo

From left: the Northern Ireland training shirt and the model’s mis-spelt ‘tiocfaidh ar la’ tattoo

A JD Sports model showing off a new training shirt for the Northern Ireland international football team also sports a ‘tiocfaidh ar la’ tattoo — although the phrase was spelt wrong.

The tattoo, which is on the man’s left arm, had been spelt ‘ticofaidh ar la’.

In a separate photo on the sportswear giant’s website, Northern Ireland international and Burton Albion striker Liam Boyce was modelling the same polo shirt.

His international teammates Paddy McNair and Conor McLaughlin are also visible on the website posing in other Northern Ireland merchandise.

The Irish republican slogan ‘tiocfaidh ar la’ roughly translates into English as ‘our day will come’, referring to a future united Ireland.

IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands used the term in his various writings before his death, while Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson caused controversy last year when she shouted the slogan at the National Hunger Strike Commemoration in Strabane, Co Tyrone.

As of last night, customers wishing to purchase the £38 Adidas royal blue polo shirt were unable to view the item when the Belfast Telegraph made JD Sports aware of the model’s tattoo. After clicking on the link to begin your purchase of the shirt, customers were redirected to a page that said: “The product you’re attempting to view is currently unavailable to purchase. You will shortly be directed to the homepage.”

However, all other Northern Ireland merchandise was still available to buy.

It is not known how long the photo was available on the website before it was removed.

Gary McAllister chairman of the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters' Clubs said: "Perhaps the most embarrassing aspect about this is the fact the tattoo appears to be spelt wrong.

JD Sports is the exclusive retail partners of the IFA.

Adidas Football officially revealed the new Northern Ireland home shirt in November ahead of the side’s UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park where they drew 0-0 with the Netherlands.

A spokesperson for JD Sports said: “We were unaware of the model’s tattoo and can confirm the image has been removed from our website.”

The Irish Football Association declined to comment.

Belfast Telegraph