Joe Gorman was announced as a new signing by Portadown last week, but the club scrapped the deal after a backlash relating to a tweet he posted in 2014 when he was a youth team footballer at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
The tweet, which saw him suspended by the Scottish club, read: “Ross Kemp in Belfast talking about the Troubles. Wouldn’t you just love to open up on all them Orangemen.”
Actor and documentary maker Ross Kemp was in Belfast at an Orange parade which had been blocked by police on the Woodvale Road.
Yesterday, Mr Gorman posted the following apology on social media: “I would like to address an issue from my past. In 2014, at the age of 19, I posted a tweet that I sincerely regret. It was at a time in my life where my world view was particularly narrow and I did not appreciate the gravity of my comment.
“I had not intended for it to be taken seriously but I now completely understand why many people did so and were naturally very upset by it. It was borne out of a combination of teenage bravado and a lack of understanding.
“I say this not as an excuse but merely by way of explanation. It was a grave error of judgment on my part and one I wish I could take back. I have grown up and appreciate that we all have different outlooks on life which must be respected.
“I apologise unreservedly for my tweet and I would like to continue to educate younger people, as I did back in 2014, when I visited schools to speak of bigotry and the correct use of social media so that others can learn from my mistakes.”
The 27-year-old from Dublin had also played at Airdrie as well as Bray Wanderers and Drogheda United in the League of Ireland before being announced as a new signing for Portadown from Galway United last Saturday.
However on Tuesday Portadown issued a statement saying: “After further discussions, this deal has not been concluded. We wish Joe all the best for his future career.”
One Ports fan replied to Mr Gorman: “Well done for addressing the matter and apologising but more importantly for realising your mistake and taking steps to correct it. As a Portadown fan it’s a shame how things have worked out. All the best for the future.”
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