Calls by a Sinn Fein MLA for an all-Ireland football team have been branded “ridiculous and inflammatory”.
The Republic of Ireland’s World Cup dreams were shattered last night following a 5-1 trouncing by Denmark at the Aviva stadium in Dublin.
With Northern Ireland and the Republic both failing to qualify, there have once again been calls again for an all-Ireland team, with former culture minister Caral Ni Chuilin tweeting her support.
But the Green and White Army has been quick to pour cold water on the suggestion.
Responding to Mrs Ni Chuilin on Twitter, NI fan and loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson said the idea was “ridiculous and inflammatory”.
Speaking on the Nolan Show this morning, Mr Bryson added: “There are two distinctly different national teams. It is a non-sense to suggest merging them.
“Sinn Fein is pushing for an all-Ireland team because it is further down the road of harmonisation. The political agenda is to neutralise any expression of Britishness on what they call the island of Ireland.
“Only a fool would fail to recognise the political agenda behind all of this.”
Many other NI fans also slammed the suggestion on social media.
One fan tweeted: “Think I’d rather join up with Brazil if you don’t mind. Same principle really. They’re a separate country too.”
Another added: “It has started. Yet to find a convincing argument for an all-Ireland football team. For most it’s just a cloaked political cry.”
The call from Mrs Ni Chuilin comes after a survey found that around three-quarters of people in the Republic would like to see an all-Ireland team.
According to the Irish Post newspaper, the survey carried by RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live, with the help of Amarách Research, revealed 73 percent of fans in the Republic would support a football team representing the entire island of Ireland.