Belfast Telegraph

UUP man criticises boycott over 'We Hate Catholics' song - but he won't condemn action of fans

Ulster Unionist councillor Derek Hussey
Ulster Unionist councillor Derek Hussey
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

Relatives of bigoted Northern Ireland fans recorded in a video singing "We hate Catholics" have received threats, it has been claimed.

In one case a business owned by one of the men in the video has also been subjected to online abuse.

The video emerged last week showing a number of people in team shirts singing "We hate Catholics, we hate Roman Catholics" to the tune of Tommy James And The Shondels' 1967 hit I Think We're Alone Now, later recorded by Tiffany in the 1980s.

It was filmed in a Belfast bar after Northern Ireland defeated Belarus 2-1 in a Euro 2020 qualifier at Windsor Park.

Last Tuesday Castlederg-based Killen Rangers Football Club issued an apology over the vile singing and promised to take action if "deemed appropriate".

Ulster Unionist councillor Derek Hussey, who had been in the bar with members of the football club earlier in the day, hit out at those on social media calling for people to boycott the local business.

However, when pressed by the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Hussey refused to condemn the actions of the people in the video.

Mr Hussey said that he travelled to the match independently and stopped off at the bar and spent time there prior to the singing.

"I didn't travel with the supporters from Castlederg. I stopped with some of the people who were there for a short time and then moved on," he said.

"I think something that people have got to realise... those involved know that was wrong.

"Nobody, but nobody, is addressing the issue that these families and their wider family circle and friends are facing.

"There has been vile and evil trolling. There have been threats and intimidation on a local business and all of that seems to have swept under the radar.

"Those are issues I am trying to address as a local elected representative and that's all I have to say."

A source in the Castlederg area said people from both communities were shocked and disgusted when the footage emerged.

It is understood customers - both Catholic and Protestant - of a local company associated with one of the people in the video have already ceased to trade with this business.

The source said: "That video appeared on Monday and when people saw who was in it, people - including people from the Protestant community - said they would not give that local business their custom again because they were disgusted by the video."

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill described those involved in the sectarian singing as "mindless idiots".

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