Northern Ireland news

Cliftonville vows to ban Narrow Water memorial vandals

The damaged memorial at Narrow Water. Picture by Press Association

Cliftonville Football Club has said it will ban anybody convicted of vandalising a memorial at Narrow Water in Co Down.

The north Belfast club has also urged other clubs, the Northern Ireland Football League and the Irish Football Association to help by preventing any banned individuals from entering all football grounds.

There was widespread condemnation of the deliberate damage caused at the weekend to the memorial to 18 soldiers killed in a two IRA bombs in August 1979.

The aftermath of the 1979 IRA bombs that claimed the lives of 18 soldiers at Narrow Water near Warrenpoint in Co Down

It is believed those responsible were returning from Saturday afternoon's match between nearby Warrenpoint Town and Cliftonville.

Cliftonville chairman Gerard Lawlor has described the vandalism as "pathetic".

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In a statement last night, the club said: “Cliftonville Football Club have had several inquiries since our statement on Saturday in regards to events at Narrow Water.

“In particular they have asked if we intend to issue bans to those involved.

“The club wish to state, that should confirmation be received of the identity of those convicted, then we would have no hesitation in banning them from our stadium.”

Cliftonville said it has previously banned individuals from its Solitude ground on several occasions.

“While this is effective in preventing entry to games at our ground, we would call on all Irish League clubs, the Northern Ireland Football League and the Irish Football Association to help and support us in preventing all banned persons from entering all football grounds," the statement said.

“We also ask that the existing legislation in regards to football banning orders is more readily applied.”

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