Foster: Video showing Tyrone players singing rebel song does not represent many GAA supporters

DUP leader Arlene Foster
DUP leader Arlene Foster
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DUP leader Arlene Foster has called for “respect on all sides” after a video emerged showing Tyrone GAA players singing a rebel song as a band parade passes their bus in Aughnacloy on Saturday.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has apologised over the footage, in which ‘Come Out Ye Black And Tans’ is playing over the bus’ speakers as the vehicle is stopped in the middle of a march, with players joining in.

In a statement to the BBC Mr Harte apologised “to anyone who has been offended by the unacceptable behaviour... the matter is being dealt with in-house and we won’t be making any further comment.”

Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Mrs Foster said the footage “does not represent many people who support GAA”.

She added: “The bands were unaware of the singing or the comments until this video appeared.

“It was their annual parade. There are many children in the bands. The parade is about the music and performance in front of their neighbours. It is not about offending anyone.”

Mrs Foster said she hoped Tyrone GAA would deal with the matter “in a sensible way and we all move on”.

“The Aughnacloy parade is an example of sharing where they don’t start the parade until the Saturday evening mass is over. There must be respect on all sides if we are to build a shared future,” she added.

Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton branded the incident “unsavoury” and said she would be asked police how they are treating the matter.

TUV councillor Stephen Cooper said the incident “should not be brushed under the carpet”, adding: “It should be a catalyst for the GAA to examine the culture within the organisation which makes players and supporters believe that this sort of conduct is acceptable.”