Glentoran boss apologises for not holding minute’s silence for Prince Philip
Glentoran manager Mick McDermott has apologised for the club’s “poor decision” not to hold a minute’s silence for Prince Philip before their game at the Oval on Saturday.
Speaking on the Nolan Show this morning, he told the presenter it wasn’t a snub: “There was no decision made not to have a minute’s silence. It wasn’t discussed to say should we have a minute’s silence or not.”
He said the decision taken by the club was to have the Union flag lowered at the ground and to send letter of condolence to the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast.
Mr McDermott commented: “We now realise that was not enough and we’ll apologise for not having that minute’s silence and for any offence that was caused, but there was never a decision not to hold a minute’s silence as some sort of snub. I wanted to be clear on that.”
Asked if there had been any discussion with the players about the potential for a minute’s silence, Mr McDermott said: “None whatsoever. How it usually works, sometimes the directive comes from the league or the association to consider this, sometimes it comes from the home club or the visiting club, both teams have to agree.
“It was never discussed. It was never raised by the home team or the away team.”
Asked by Mr Nolan, if they’d just forgot, he said: “We didn’t forget, we just didn’t consider it. Now we know that was a poor decision.
“Usually lowering the flag would have sufficed, we now realise that we should have had a minute’s silence.
“We’ll apologise for that and we’ll apologise to the fans who are offended, any other groups that are offended, but we’re just concerned that in the media this has been portrayed as some sort of decision that was made because of a chairman or a player or a board member. That’s absolutely not true.
“This was a non-decision on our part and we now apologise for that, we should have done it and we will be doing it.”
The club say a minute’s silence will be held before its next two games, home and away to Coleraine.
The lack of the traditional tribute ahead of Saturday’s game against Dungannon Swifts at The Oval provoked a fierce online backlash, with a former club captain Pete Batey branding the decision a “disgrace”.
Pete Batey, who captained the Glens during a seven-year spell at the club, posted pictures of himself serving in the army, and others from his Glentoran playing days, with a scathing caption, the Sunday Life reported.
The message said: “This is me serving my country and me proudly captaining Glentoran FC. You are a f****** disgrace.”
A minute’s silence was observed for Prince Philip at four of the six matches in the Irish League at the weekend. The exceptions were Glentoran’s home game with Dungannon Swifts and Warrenpoint Town’s home game against Coleraine.
This weekend’s Danske Bank Premiership games set to kick off at 3pm have been rescheduled to avoid a clash with the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh which is also at 3pm.