Northern Ireland

Casement Park: Threat sent to UUP councillor following her support for government funding

Casement Park with men in high-visibility jackets walking among the stands and an inset picture of councillor Linzi McLaren
UUP councillor Linzi McLaren received a threat following her support for government funding for the Casement Park redevelopment

Politicians have condemned a threat sent to a UUP councillor following her support for government funding for the Casement Park redevelopment.

Linzi McLaren was told in the online message to “be careful at nights” after she wrote about her backing for the west Belfast stadium.

“Governments invest in stadia. Full stop. Because the injection of cash into the economy is huge,” Ms McLaren wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“The GAA need, deserve and were promised a stadium. The IRFU and IFA get revenue from the parks that our government built.

UUP's Linzi McLaren
UUP's Linzi McLaren

“Debate over the extra funding needs to be had, but it needs to be an objective debate, free from whatever mistrust people feel toward the GAA as an organisation.

“Take politics out of sport and put our energy into the notion that sport does and should bring people together.

“My personal opinion only.”

But her statement was criticised by some social media users, included one man who said: “F*** Casement Park. Do us all a favour and join the Ra. Be careful at nights.”

Ms McLaren, who sits on Ards and North Down borough council, has reported the message to police.

The abuse she faced following her post has been criticised by other politicians, including Alliance agriculture minister Andrew Muir, who described it as “absolutely appalling”.

SDLP councillor Séamas de Faoite said: “people have totally lost the run of themselves online” adding that he hopes police “are able to take action against this individual”.

Green Party councillor Anthony Flynn said it was “absolutely disgusting and disgraceful” adding that it has “absolutely no place for vile threats against elected reps”.